The district court in Kentucky disagreed, dismissing Thompson's case on summary judgement. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) affirmed the decision of the district court.
The U.S. Supreme Court said two questions needed to be answered:
- Did the Defendant's firing of Thompson constitute unlawful retaliation?
- If it did, does Title VII grant Thompson a cause of action?
The Court held unanimously that:
- Title VII's anti-retaliation provision, which is more broadly construed than its anti-discrimination provision, prohibits more than conduct which only impact the terms and conditions of employment.
What are the take-away points?
- The Court ruled unanimously. This means that the Court wants to send a clear message about its holding and the intended consequences of the same. (Justice Kagan, the newest Justice, did not participate in the deliberations.)