Category Archives: Retaliation

The Supreme Court Rejects “Mixed Motive” in Title VII Retaliation Cases

By a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court held that the plaintiff in a Title VII retaliation case cannot rely on a “mixed motive” theory.  The case is University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar.  The case was discussed and previewed in this article. The majority opinion by Justice Kennedy summarized its reasoning as follows:… Read More »

Fifth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Case Involving LSU

The Fifth Circuit considered an appeal from a summary judgment in a case involving claims of gender discrimination and retaliation.  The case is Haire v. Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University (5th Cir. May 21, 2013). The plaintiff was an LSU police officer.  She applied for the vacant position as chief of police.  LSU installed… Read More »

Fifth Circuit Rejects Title VII Claims Based on Public Displays of Affection by Co-Workers

The Fifth Circuit considered sex discrimination and retaliation claims in Kummerle v. EMJ Corp., No. 12-10869 (5th Cir. May 16, 2013) (unpublished).  In affirming the district court’s dismissal of the case, the Fifth Circuit offered an analysis that may be disturbing to plaintiffs. The facts are simple.  The plaintiff’s male supervisor and a female co-worker… Read More »

Fifth Circuit: No Attorneys’ Fees in a Mixed-Motive Retaliation Case If the Employer Proves That the Employee Would Have Been Fired Anyway

In Carter v. Luminant Power Services Co., No. 12-10642 (5th Cir. April 3, 2013), the Fifth Circuit addressed an unusual question of statutory construction relating to Title VII.  The plaintiff had complained to his employer about race discrimination.  His employer subsequently disciplined him.  The plaintiff brought a Title VII action, claiming that the discipline constituted… Read More »

What Are the Retaliation Laws in Texas?

A retaliation claim is similar to, but different from, a discrimination claim.  The discrimination statutes protect various employees with various characteristics, from race to sex to disability status to immigration status.  The discrimination statutes also protect people who engage in certain activities, from claiming family or medical leave to serving on a jury to joining a… Read More »

Does the “Mixed Motive” Rule Apply in Title VII Retaliation Cases? The Supreme Court Will Decide.

In January 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted review in a case that could determine whether a plaintiff can win a Title VII retaliation claim under a “mixed motive” theory. To explain the significance of this development, it is useful to start by examining the legal rules for retaliation claims. Suppose that a Title… Read More »