Tag Archives: Third Circuit

Third Circuit ‘Clarifies’ that a Single Racial Slur May be Sufficiently ‘Severe’ to Create a Hostile Work Environment

Characterizing its own precedent as “inconsistent” and “confusing,” the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a published opinion earlier this month, undertook to “clarify” the “correct standard” for establishing  a hostile work environment claim under federal anti-discrimination law (in particular, Title VII). Castleberry v. STI Group, No. 16-3131. To state such a claim, plaintiffs must … Continue Reading

Employer’s Honest Belief Sufficient to Defeat FMLA Retaliation Claim

In a welcome decision to employers, the Third Circuit decided last week, for the first time, that an employer’s mere “honest belief” that an employee misused FMLA leave is sufficient to defeat a retaliation claim. As an employee claiming retaliation for using protected FMLA leave must prove that the very exercise of that right was a … Continue Reading

Employers Guilty Until Proven Innocent? Third Circuit Lowers the Bar for Employees Claiming Retaliation for Certain Protected Whistleblower Activities

In a decision that may have far-ranging impact for employers accused of retaliating against whistleblower-employees, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employee whose evidence was “entirely circumstantial,” and who did not provide “any evidence” of his employer’s alleged retaliatory motive, nonetheless presented enough evidence to survive summary judgment. Araujo v. NJ Transit Rail Operations, Inc., No. 12-2148 (3rd Cir. February 19, 2013). While the Araujo decision itself comes specifically from the federal whistleblower laws applicable to the railroad industry, the Third Circuit’s analysis of the applicable legal burdens may well apply to employers in such diverse industries as commercial trucking, airlines, maritime, automobile manufacture, and consumer products generally, as well as any employer covered by Sarbanes-Oxley.… Continue Reading
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