Use the IRAC method to write a case brief on Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP.
2 slides; 1 for the intro of the presentation and 1 for the “c” in IRAC which is the conclusion.
I need detailed notes for the slides. I will attach the template that I need the slides added to.
Please cite any references and add to reference slide.
THOMPSON v. NORTH AMERICAN STAINLESS, LP
562 U.S. __ (2011)
After petitioner Thompson’s fiancée, Miriam Regalado,
filed a sex discrimination charge with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
against their employer, respondent North American
Stainless (NAS), NAS fired Thompson. He filed his
own charge and a subsequent suit under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act, claiming that NAS fired him to
retaliate against Regalado for filing her charge. The
District Court granted NAS summary judgment on
the ground that third-party retaliation claims were not
permitted by Title VII, which prohibits discrimination
against an employee “because he has made a [Title VII]
charge.” The en banc Sixth Circuit affirmed, reasoning
that Thompson was not entitled to sue NAS for
retaliation because he had not engaged in any activity
protected by the statute. By a vote of 8-0, the Supreme
Court overturned the Court of Appeals. (Justice Kagan
took no part in the consideration of the case.)
SCALIA, J.: Until 2003, both petitioner Eric
Thompson and his fiancée, Miriam Regalado, were
employees of respondent North American Stainless
(NAS). In February 2003, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notified NAS that
Regalado had filed a charge alleging sex discrimination.
Three weeks later, NAS fired Thompson.
Thompson then filed a charge with the EEOC.
After conciliation efforts proved unsuccessful, he sued
NAS in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Kentucky under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964,78 Stat. 253, 42 U. S. C. §2000e et seq.,
claiming that NAS had fired him in order to retaliate
against Regalado for filing her charge with the EEOC.
The District Court granted summary judgment to NAS,
concluding that Title VII “does not permit third party
retaliation claims.” 435 F. Supp. 2d 633, 639 (ED Ky.
2006). After a panel of the Sixth Circuit reversed the
District Court, the Sixth Circuit granted rehearing en
banc and affirmed by a 10-to-6 vote. 567 F. 3d 804
(2009). The court reasoned that because Thompson did
not “engag[e] in any statutorily protected activity, either
on his own behalf or on behalf of Miriam Regalado,”
he “is not included in the class of persons for whom
Congress created a retaliation cause of action.” . . .
Title VII provides that “[i]t shall be an unlawful
employment practice for an employer to discriminate
against any of his employees . . . because he has made
a charge” under Title VII. 42 U. S. C. §2000e–3(a). The
statute permits “a person claiming to be aggrieved” to
file a charge with the EEOC alleging that the employer
committed an unlawful employment practice, and, if
the EEOC declines to sue the employer, it permits a
civil action to “be brought . . . by the person claiming
to be aggrieved . . . by the alleged unlawful employment
practice.” §2000e–5(b), (f)(1). It is undisputed
that Regalado’s filing of a charge with the EEOC was
protected conduct under Title VII. In the procedural
posture of this case, we are also required to assume
that NAS fired Thompson in order to retaliate against
Regalado for filing a charge of discrimination. This
case therefore presents two questions: First, did NAS’s
firing of Thompson constitute unlawful retaliation?
And second, if it did, does Title VII grant Thompson
a cause of action?
With regard to the first question, we have little difficulty
concluding that if the facts alleged by Thompson
are true, then NAS’s firing of Thompson violated Title
VII. In Burlington N. & S. F. R. Co. v. White, 548 U. S. 53
(2006), we held that Title VII’s antiretaliation provision
must be construed to cover a broad range of employer
conduct. We reached that conclusion by contrasting
the text of Title VII’s antiretaliation provision with its
substantive antidiscrimination provision. . . . Title VII’s
antiretaliation provision prohibits any employer action
that “well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker
from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.”
Id., at 68 (internal quotation marks omitted).
We think it obvious that a reasonable worker might
be dissuaded from engaging in protected activity if she
knew that her fiancé would be fired. Indeed, NAS does
not dispute that Thompson’s firing meets the standard
set forth in Burlington. Tr. of Oral Arg. 30. NAS raises
the concern, however, that prohibiting reprisals against
third parties will lead to difficult line-drawing problems
concerning the types of relationships entitled to protection.
Perhaps retaliating against an employee by firing
his fiancée would dissuade the employee from engaging
in protected activity, but what about firing an employee’s
girlfriend, close friend, or trusted co-worker? . . .
Although we acknowledge the force of this point,
we do not think it justifies a categorical rule that thirdparty
reprisals do not violate Title VII. As explained
above, we adopted a broad standard in Burlington
because Title VII’s antiretaliation provision is worded
broadly. We think there is no textual basis for making
an exception to it for third-party reprisals, and
a preference for clear rules cannot justify departing
from statutory text. We must also decline to identify
a fixed class of relationships for which third-party
reprisals are unlawful. We expect that firing a close
family member will almost always meet the Burlington
standard, and inflicting a milder reprisal on a mere
acquaintance will almost never do so, but beyond that
we are reluctant to generalize. . . .
The more difficult question in this case is whether
Thompson may sue NAS for its alleged violation of
Title VII. The statute provides that “a civil action may
be brought . . . by the person claiming to be aggrieved.”
“. . . to be aggrieved” to bring “a civil action.” It is arguable
that the aggrievement referred to is nothing more
than the minimal Article III standing, which consists
of injury in fact caused by the defendant and remediable
by the court. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife,
504 U. S. 555, 560–561 (1992). But Thompson’s claim
undoubtedly meets those requirements, so if that is
indeed all that aggrievement consists of, he may sue. . . .
We hold that the term “aggrieved” in Title VII
incorporates this test, enabling suit by any plaintiff with
an interest “arguably [sought] to be protected by the
statutes,” National Credit Union Admin. v. First Nat.
Bank & Trust Co., 522 U. S. 479, 495 (1998) (internal
quotation marks omitted), while excluding plaintiffs
who might technically be injured in an Article III sense
but whose interests are unrelated to the statutory prohibitions
in Title VII. Applying that test here, we conclude
that Thompson falls within the zone of interests
protected by Title VII. Thompson was an employee of
NAS, and the purpose of Title VII is to protect employees
from their employers’ unlawful actions. Moreover,
accepting the facts as alleged, Thompson is not an
accidental victim of the retaliation—collateral damage,
so to speak, of the employer’s unlawful act. To the contrary,
injuring him was the employer’s intended means
of harming Regalado. Hurting him was the unlawful
act by which the employer punished her. In those circumstances,
we think Thompson well within the zone
of interests sought to be protected by Title VII. He is a
person aggrieved with standing to sue.