Supreme Court Sides With Employees in Discrimination Case

Last Thursday the U.S.Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Tennessee railroad worker who claimed that her employer, Burlington Northern Railroad, had discriminated against her after she made a complaint of sexual harassment. 

The intent of the ruling appears to be to standardize the definition of retaliation.  In the past, the various circuit courts have applied different standards.  Some have ruled that only termination and demotion constituted retaliation while others have used a broader definition.  The Supreme Court ruling seems to favor the latter.

Obviously, the best way to avoid problems is to never allow discrimination in the workplace.  That goes without saying.  But, if someone does file a complaint, don’t take it lightly.  Get your attorney involved right away and follow his/her advice carefully.  Be especially careful that nothing you do has even the appearance of retaliation.  The future of your business could depend on it.

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