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Showing 4 posts in Burden of Proof.

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Section 1981 Racial Discrimination Claims Require But-For Causation

In a unanimous decision issued on March 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that a but-for causation standard applies to claims brought under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Supreme Court also noted that this standard applies throughout the litigation process, including the initial pleading stage.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, a Reconstruction-era statute, includes Section 1981, which guarantees "[a]ll persons . . . the same right . . . to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens." In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, the plaintiff pursued a number of theories, but essentially argued that the Court should adopt the motivating factor test employed in cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employment law practitioners often will see complaints including counts for both violations of Title VII and Section 1981. It is important to recognize that the causation standards are different for these two statutes. More ›

The Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standards in Employment Discrimination Cases

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the Seventh Circuit stated in very clear terms that lower courts and parties to discrimination actions should not divide evidence into direct and circumstantial buckets under the familiar direct and indirect methods of proving discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court’s instruction should apply with equal force to claims brought under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. More ›

Seventh Circuit Reiterates Standard for Establishing Substantial Limitation on the Ability to Work

It goes without saying that an employee cannot prevail on a disability discrimination claim unless he is actually disabled. In the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this means that he must show that a disability “substantially limits” one or more of his “major life activities.”  Predictably, plaintiffs often allege that the “major life activity” that their disability has impacted is the activity of “working." Thus, an important question for employers is this: when does a disability actually limit an employee’s ability to work? More ›

Supreme Court: Proving Title VII Retaliation Claim Requires “But-For” Causation

Adding to a recent string of victories for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 24, 2013, that claims for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must be proved "according to traditional principles of but-for causation." More ›

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