Last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upended longstanding, employer-friendly precedent in cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. For decades, an employment discrimination plaintiff in the Fifth Circuit had to demonstrate the “adverse employment action” forming the basis of their complaint constituted an “ultimate employment decision”—which the Court of Appeals effectively limited to hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation. No longer. In a move sure to surprise some, the traditionally employer-friendly Court broadened the scope of cognizable discrimination claims in the Fifth Circuit.
Stephen Fox is a partner in the firm's Labor and Employment and Business Trial Practice Groups in the firm's Dallas office.