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U.S. Supreme Court rules that discrimination laws protect employees’ relatives from retaliation

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fiancée of a woman who filed a sex discrimination complaint can claim retaliation.

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act apply to relatives of employees who have filed discrimination complaints.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Thompson v. North American Stainless will enable Eric Thompson to sue NAS, where both Thompson and his then-fiancée Miriam Regalado worked, for retaliation. 

In 2002, Regalado filed a sex discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  She claimed that she was paid less than her male coworkers and that she was demoted twice because of her sex.

North American Stainless was informed of Regalado’s EEOC complaint in February 2003, and Thompson was fired three weeks later.

Thompson filed a lawsuit against NAS in January 2005 claiming that he was fired in retaliation for Regalado’s EEOC complaint.  The company said that Thompson was fired for performance reasons.

Thompson’s original case was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in June 2006.  Thompson appealed the ruling, and the lower court’s decision was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Thompson then appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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U.S. Supreme Court rules that discrimination laws protect employees’ relatives from retaliation
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