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Supreme Court: law bars sex harassment retaliation

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:33 PM
Original message
Supreme Court: law bars sex harassment retaliation
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An employee is protected from being fired in retaliation for answering questions during an employer's investigation of suspected sexual harassment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The unanimous court ruled the federal civil rights law's anti-retaliation provision for employees who report workplace sex or race discrimination also extended to an internal investigation of a supervisor or another worker.

"Nothing in the statute requires a freakish rule protecting an employee who reports discrimination on her own initiative but not one who reports the same discrimination in the same words when her boss asks a question," Justice David Souter wrote in the opinion.

The ruling decided an important workplace issue. Federal government lawyers said witnesses and victims would be unwilling to cooperate in employer sexual harassment investigations if they faced potential punishment like the loss of their jobs.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE50P4TG20090126
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Unanimous??
Has change come?
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Alito and Thomas wrote a concurrent opinion.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. Scalia must have been delirious with a HIGH fever. But we'll take it.
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. the word "retaliation" was meant for the victim of the crime, not the instigator
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 02:45 PM by jsamuel
Thomas obviously should have recused himself.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well now how did they arrive at this conclusion?
I figured after the Lilly Ledbetter decision, that the high court was on a tear with ruling against people in hostile work environments. "Getting propositioned by your supervisor, and fired when you tell his supervisor? Tough shit, you shouldn't have presented such an attractive target, Toots. No recourse."
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. Shame this doesn't cover anti-gay harassment.
Lucky for me I live in California -- I had to go to HR about this complete asshole who disparaged GLBT people to me for years. He didn't know I was queer until I finally blew up at him after countless requests that he stop.

He no longer works here.

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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. Well good.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Unless a lower court had ruled against the plaintiff(s)....
there was no reason for the SC to take this case.

Still, even if it's just grandstanding, it was the correct ruling. At least three of the Supremes must've choked on it, at least a little.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. The Trial Court and the Sixth circuit ruled against the Plaintiffs.
The reason was the Sixth Circuit ruled any protection for people who report sexual harassment only extended to people who made a report NOT people who confirmed the report in the subsequent internal company investigation. The Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit on that issue, ruling the other circuits court of appeal that has ruled on this issue were right and the sixth circuit was wrong, the protection from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment NOT only extended to people who made the report BUT also to people who confirm that report in any subsequent investigation by the company.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Got that when I watched the Newshour again this a.m..
Then was disappointed that, for the same case, they've got to go back to the lower court and argue every other damn roadblock.

From what I gathered, there are at least two (probably three) other "questions" that may well find their way to the SC before these women see anything resembling justice.
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biopowertoday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. WONDERFUL
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. Actual Court Opinion
Edited on Tue Jan-27-09 01:08 PM by happyslug
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