U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



2010 Term

Oral Argument Date

December 07, 2010


Questions Presented

1. Does section 704(a) forbid an employer from retaliating for such activity by inflicting reprisals on a third party, such as a spouse, family member or fiancé, closely associated with the employee who engaged in such protected activity?

2. If so, may that prohibition be enforced in a civil action brought by the third party victim?

Case Updates

Supreme Court reverses third party retaliation claims under Title VII

January 24, 2011

The Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit's ruling.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

October 29, 2010

NCLC urged the Supreme Court to affirm the Sixth Circuit’s ruling 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 Sixth Circuit rejected the ‘third party retaliation claim’ of an employee who was terminated shortly after his fiancée filed a discrimination claim with the EEOC against the same employer. In itsbrief, NCLC warned that Congress did not intend to permit third-party retaliation claims, and permitting the claims would require courts to draw lines between protected and unprotected conduct without congressional direction.

Case Documents