The Supreme Court's 2010 Fall Docket has been released. Many employment lawyers have noted that while the current court has taken a dim view of employee's rights in general, one area where they have generally supported employees is in retaliation cases.
This Fall, the Court has taken three employment cases. Two of the three are retaliation cases.
Here is the basic rundown on this fall term's cases along with some links to the lower court's opinion and case briefing for each case:
- Thompson v. North American Stainless
- In Thompson, the Court will decide whether someone closely connected with an employee who complains of discrimination -- here the employee's co-worker/fiance -- is protected from retaliation. The fiance was fired and has brought a retaliation case.
- Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.
- In Kasten, the Court will determine whether an employee's making an oral, instead of a written, complaint of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act is protected conduct under the statute's anti-retaliation provision.
- Staub v. Proctor Hospital
- Here the Court will be addressing what lawyers commonly refer to as the "cat's paw" theory of liability. The question presented is whether an employer, without discriminatory motive, may be liable for firing an employee based on information or advice from biased managers.
While none may make the front page of the local paper, all three of these cases are interesting issues and important to practitioners. I'll be watching them closely. You can bookmark this page if you wish as I will update the links here with the oral arguments and opinions as they become available.