Apr 18, 2024
2 mins read
2 mins read

Supreme Court Ruling Simplifies Lawsuits For Forced Job Transfer

Supreme Court Ruling Simplifies Lawsuits For Forced Job Transfer

WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday made it simpler for workers who are transferred from one job to another against their will to pursue job discrimination claims.

Workers only have to show the transfer resulted in some degree of harm to prove their claims, Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court.

The justices unanimously revived a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by a St. Louis police sergeant after she was transferred forcibly, but retained her rank and pay.

Sgt. Jaytonya Muldrow had worked for nine years in a plainclothes position in the department's intelligence division, before a new commander reassigned her to a uniformed position, in which she supervised patrol officers.

The commander wanted a male officer for the intelligence job, and sometimes referred to Muldrow as “Mrs.” instead of “sergeant,” Kagan wrote.

Muldrow sued under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin.

Lower courts had dismissed Muldrow's claim, concluding she had not suffered a significant job disadvantage. Kagan said the court disapproves of that approach.

“Although an employee must show some harm from a forced transfer to prevail in a Title VII suit, she need not show that the injury satisfies a significance test,” Kagan said.

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