The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review two key cases that will impact employers. The first case, Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (No. 06-1505), raises the question whether employees alleging disparate impact under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act have the burden of proving that the employer did not rely on "reasonable factors other than age." The Second Circuit held that the workers had the burden of proof and failed to satisfy it.
The second case, Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville (No. 06-1595), concerns whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects from retaliation an employee who was allegedly fired after she cooperated with her employer's internal investigation into sexual harassment. The Sixth Circuit rejected the worker's retaliation claim, finding that she neither opposed unlawful activity nor participated in a "proceeding" under the Act.