University of Texas v. Nassar
Court: U.S. Supreme Court
Term: October 2102
Oral Argument: April 2013
Opinion: Justice Kennedy
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Whether Title VII's retaliation provision and similarly worded statutes require a plaintiff to prove but-for causation (i.e., that an employer would not have taken an adverse employment action but for an improper motive), or instead require only proof that the employer had a mixed motive (i.e., that an improper motive was one of multiple reasons for the employment action).
The RLC asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision and find that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision requires a plaintiff to prove but-for causation and that a “mixed motive” is insufficient for employer liability.
The Court held that Title VII retaliation claims must prove but-for causation, and not the lesser mixed-motive test. Case vacated and remanded.
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