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Who is Protected?

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is designed to prohibit employment discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.  The Supreme Court is currently considering a case to determine who is covered by the provisions in Title VII.  At issue in Thompson v. North American Stainless is whether fiances of the complaining party are covered by Title VII.  In Thompson, the complaining party did not get fired.  Instead it was her fiance.  The fiance has alleged retaliation for the filing of the complaint.

The attorneys for North American Stainless argue that the text of the statute is clear:  only the complaining party is covered.  However, Thompson’s attorney’s argue that based on Supreme Court precedent, an employer cannot do anything to dissuade someone from filing a complaint.  Fear of firing a fiance or family member may prevent someone from filing a complaint.

For employers, knowing who is actually covered by Title VII is important.  The Supreme Court may use this case to provide a clear standard on who can seek relief under Title VII.

Written by Admin

December 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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