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Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White

Docket No.: 05-259
Certiorari Granted: 12/5/2005
Argued: April 17, 2006
Decided: June 22, 2006

Topic:

Civil Rights

PartyNames: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company v. Sheila White
Petitioner: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company
Respondent: Sheila White

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company
v.
Sheila White
548 U.S. 53 (2006)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION.

Question Presented:

1. Whether an employer may be held liable for retaliatory discrimination under Title VII for any "materially adverse change in the terms of employment" (including a temporary suspension rescinded by the employer with full back pay or an inconvenient reassignment, as the court below held); for any adverse treatment that was "reasonably likely to deter" the plaintiff from engaging in protected activity (as the Ninth Circuit holds); or only for an "ultimate employment decision" (as two other courts of appeals hold).2. Whether a plaintiff, whose evidence on liability is deemed sufficient by a court of appeals, is permitted a stand-alone retrial on punitive damages under a mere preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, rather than a clear-and-convincing-evidence standard.

Question:

Did Sheila White suffer retaliatory discrimination for which her employer may be held liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Holding: adjudged to be affirmed
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By:
Read BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE RAILWAY CO. V. WHITE opinion (PDF)

Read opinion

Other Resources for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White:
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