The United States Supreme Court has held that Title VII’s protection from retaliation extends even to employees who have not engaged in protected activity. In Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 913 (Jan. 24, 2011), co-workers were engaged to be married. After the woman filed a discrimination charge against their mutual employer, the man was discharged. The Court held that the man could sue for retaliation even though he had not engaged in any protected activity. The Court noted that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision is broader than its anti-discrimination provision and covers a wide range of conduct. Because the man was not an “accidental victim of retaliation,” but instead was discharged to punish his co-worker/fiancée, he was “well within the zone of interests sought to be protected by Title VII.” The Court declined to explain how far this “zone of interest” extends, but it is now clear that engaging in protected activity (such as complaining of discrimination or testifying in a discrimination case) is not a prerequisite for a retaliation claim. Therefore, employers should ensure that they always have legitimate (and provable) non-retaliatory reasons for disciplining or discharging any employee.