U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Case Status


Docket Number


Oral Argument Date

December 10, 2008


Case Updates


June 05, 2009

In a splintered en banc decision with four separate opinions, the Sixth Circuit held that the authorized class of claimants under Title VII is limited to persons who have personally engaged in protected activity by opposing a practice, making a charge, or assisting or participating in an investigation. In so holding, the court rejected the 'third party retaliation claim' of the plaintiff.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief addressing associational retaliation claims under Title VII

October 03, 2008

NCLC urged the Sixth Circuit to reject expanding the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII to cover retaliation claims by third parties. An employee who worked with his fiancé was terminated shortly after his fiancé filed a discrimination claim with the EEOC against their employer. The plaintiff then filed a claim with the EEOC alleging retaliation. NCLC argued that Congress did not intend to permit 'third-party retaliation claims', and to do so would create the first class of employees protected under Title VII who could not be measured by objective criteria. NCLC also argued that third-party retaliation claims upset the balance between the antidiscrimination goals of Title VII.

Case Documents