Retaliation, discrimination workplace harassment are a problem all over the United States. Recently, the Supreme Court made rulings on two employment law cases. Both cases could be considered stumbling blocks for employees who experience retaliation, workplace harassment or discrimination. Texas residents may benefit from hearing the details of these cases, as employees in the state may be able to relate to some of the situations contained therein.
In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that a person is only considered a "supervisor" if he or she has the power to promote, hire or fire an employee. Harassment that comes from a workplace peer is treated differently than harassment coming from a supervisor. Unfortunately, the ruling may provide additional cover for coworkers who act as supervisors but do not have the authority to hire or fire.
The second case makes it more difficult for an employee to prove retaliation for voicing a complaint concerning discrimination. Previously, employers could not automatically escape liability if any number of factors, including sex and race, were among a list of several factors behind retaliation. The recent ruling requires employees to prove that discrimination was the only motivating factor in a retaliation case.
Some activists are hoping Congress will do something about the rulings. However, given the rulings, the need for qualified legal support when filing a claim for retaliation becomes all the more evident. Texas employees deserve the right to protect themselves from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. In order to do this, a certain level of support will likely be required.
Source: ThinkProgress.com, "How Congress Can Undo The Supreme Court's Attack On Workers' Rights," Bryce Covert, June 27, 2013