In the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center case, the court has made it more difficult for workers to prove retaliation as the reason for their dismissal. A key provision in Title VII prevents an employer from punishing or dismissing an employee for making “a charge, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing” regarding discrimination. The Supreme Court ruling now requires employees to show that retaliation was not just a “motivating factor,” but the sole reason for their dismissal, meaning an employer could escape liability by claiming other reasons for firing or demoting a whistleblower.

Justice Ginsburg, who six years ago successfully challenged Congress to correct the court’s dismissal of a Title VII lawsuit by passing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, said, “The ball again lies in Congress’s court to correct this court’s wayward interpretation of Title VII.”

We urge the Congress to again answer the call.

(Marc H. Morial, former mayor of New Orleans, is president and CEO of the National Urban League.)


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