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A Better Partnership


Jan 2011
January 25, 2011

Supreme Court Dramatically Expands Who Can Sue For Retaliation

The Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the class of employees who are permitted to file a charge of unlawful retaliation and ultimately sue their employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Thompson v. North American Stainless LP, the Court held on Monday that Eric Thompson could be a victim of unlawful retaliation. Thompson was fired after his fiancée, Miriam Regalado, filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging sex discrimination against their mutual employer, NAS. The Court said that Title VII gave Thompson a cause of action for the termination, despite the fact that Thompson himself did not file a charge or otherwise engage in protected activity.

The Court dealt with two questions:

  • Did NAS’s firing of Thompson constitute unlawful retaliation?
  • If it did, does Title VII grant Thompson a cause of action?

The Court answered both questions in the affirmative, expanding the rights of employees to claim retaliation under Title VII.

You can read more detail regarding this decision at Or call Steve Palazzolo (616.752.2191 or or any other member of the Warner Norcross & Judd Labor Practice Group.

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