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Third Circuit Issues Employer-Friendly Ruling in Discrimination and Retaliation Case

Train pulling into station 2013144_LargeOn August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in Jones v. SEPTA, a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a former employee of the Philadelphia-area transit agency. The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the employee’s claims, and addressed two key legal issues: (1) whether suspensions with pay are considered adverse employment actions under Title VII; and (2) whether an initial report made by an allegedly biased supervisor can lead to liability under the “Cat’s Paw” theory (for an overview of “Cat’s Paw,” see my post on HR Legalist earlier this year). Fortunately for employers within the Third Circuit (including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware), the court ruled in SEPTA’s favor on both issues. (Continue reading).