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UNIV. OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MED. CENTR. v. NASSAR

Docket No.: 12-484
Certiorari Granted: Jan 18 2013
Argued: April 24, 2013
Decided: June 24, 2013

Topics:

ADA, ADEA, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Discrimination in Employment, Title VII, adverse employment action, age discrimination, anti-retaliation, disparate treatment, retaliation, sex discrimination, unlawful employment practices

PartyNames: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Naiel Nassar
Petitioner: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Respondent: Naiel Nassar

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Citation: 674 F.3d 448
Supreme Court Docket

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
v.
Naiel Nassar
Background:

In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 258, 268-69 (1989), a plurality of this Court held that the discrimination provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e-2(a), requires a plaintiff to prove only that discrimination was "a motivating factor" for an adverse employment action. In contrast, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., 557 U.S. 167, 179-80 (2009), held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Pub. L. 90-202, 81 Stat. 602, requires proof that age was "the but-for cause" of an adverse employment action, such that a defendant is not liable if it would have taken the same action for other, non-discriminatory reasons. The courts of appeals have since divided 3- 2 on whether Gross or Price Waterhouse establishes the general rule for other federal employment statutes, such as Title VII's retaliation provision, that do not specifically authorize mixed-motive claims.

Question Presented:

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).

UNIV. OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MED. CENTR. v. NASSAR
ORAL ARGUMENT

April 24, 2013

Listen to Oral Argument in UNIV. OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MED. CENTR. v. NASSAR
Holding: VACATED AND REMANDED
Vote: 5-4
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