Date: January 27, 2022

Following Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement announcement, TELG's Nick Woodfield spoke with Law360 to look back on some of the highlights of Justice Breyer's career.

Quoteworthy:
“That was more than just a delineation of what the law was, that was an employee, plaintiff-end win.”

Nicholas Woodfield

» View on Law360 (Site requires paid subscription.)

[EXCERPT]

A Look on Justice Stephen Breyer’s Legacy

Justice Stephen Breyer announced Thursday that he will retire from the U.S. Supreme Court after more than 27 years, leaving behind a legal legacy that includes notable decisions on labor and employment law.

[….]

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White

Justice Breyer authored another unanimous decision in 2006, this time broadening the reach of the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The ruling upheld a Sixth Circuit decision in favor of railroad worker Sheila White, who claimed she had been retaliated against when she was reassigned to less desirable job duties and later suspended after accusing her supervisor of making demeaning and inappropriate comments toward women.

Justice Breyer said the law’s prohibition on retaliation applies to actions that “could well dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.”

[….]

Nicholas Woodfield, who represents workers as principal and general counsel with the Employment Law Group PC, said the decision was significant because it cleared up a complicated circuit split in away that pushed the law in a worker-friendly direction.

“It’s not always that the Supreme Court comes down with a very clean win for employees,” Woodfield said. “That was more than just a delineation of what the law was, that was an employee, plaintiff-end win.”

» View on Law360 (Site requires paid subscription.)