In a recent ruling on April 17, 2024, The Supreme Court made it easier for workers forced to transfer form one job to another to file discrimination claims under the federal law. Workers can now take legal action even if they’re not demoted or subjected to pay cuts. They would need to prove that some harm occurred, but not be required to show significant harm.

Here’s what we know about the case

The court’s decision stemmed from a sex discrimination case in the St. Louis Police Department, where a female sergeant held a plainclothes role in the intelligence division. The female sergeant was transferred by a new commander in the division to a uniformed position where she would supervise patrol officers. It’s alleged that the commander preferred a male in the intelligence job and would refer to the plaintiff as “Mrs.” Instead of her title of “sergeant.”

Here’s what happened in the lower courts

The female sergeant brought her legal action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that outlaws workplace discrimination based on race, color sex, religion, and national origin. The lower courts dismissed her claims on the basis that she had not suffered sufficient damage.

What does this mean for business owners?

With the Supreme Court decision making it easier to file discrimination claims, there’s no telling what kind of decision or act could trigger a lawsuit, making it more important than ever for business owners to brush up on workplace discrimination laws to better protect themselves and their business. 

Safeguard your business with legal help

With this new ruling, it’s easier than ever for businesses to face discrimination claims, and in order to avoid costly and time-consuming lawsuits, business owners should find better ways to protect their business. If you’re facing any employment-related issues, we recommend you obtain the help of a business attorney specializing in employment law. Contact us for a consultation.  

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