SCOTUScast 11-18-08 featuring Rick Esenberg
Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee
November 18, 2008Richard Esenberg
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SCOTUScast 11-18-08 featuring Rick Esenberg - MP3
Running Time: 00:09:46
On Wednesday, October 8, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. Here the Supreme Court considers the extent of employee protection under Title VII's anti-retaliation provision in a case arising from an internal investigation in Nashville, Tennessee, of Gene Hughes, who had been hired by the school district to oversee and investigate all claims of discrimination and harassment but had himself become the subject of sexual harassment complaints. This investigation of the investigator turned up several women, including Vicky Crawford who had worked with Hughes and claimed that he had sexually harassed them, though they had not made any prior claims of offensive conduct. Shortly after the investigation, these women were fired from their jobs, assertedly for unrelated reasons. After filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Vicky Crawford sued the Metropolitan Government, alleging that it had violated the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees who oppose sexual harassment and those who participate in an investigation. The District Court ruled that her activities were not sufficient to bring her within the protections of these provisions, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court now considers whether Title VII protects an employee who participates in an internal investigation under either or both of the opposition or participation clauses from retaliation by her employer. Marquette University Law Professor Rick Esenberg discusses the case.
Oral Argument - October 8, 2008: