Given the indisputable ideological division on the U.S. Supreme Court, any unanimous decision these days comes as something of a shock. Particularly when it involves a somewhat contentious area of law -- sex discrimination in the workplace -- and when the decision was written by the court's most combative ideological warrior, Justice Antonin Scalia.
Yet that's just what happened last week when the court ruled 8-0 that a man who was fired after his fiancée filed a workplace complaint against their mutual employer may sue for retaliation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers who file grievances against an employer. But when Miriam Regalado filed a sex-discrimination grievance against North American Stainless, a Kentucky company, her fiancé at the company was dismissed. He sued. The company maintained that the law protected the complainer, but not anyone else. An appeals court agreed and dismissed his lawsuit.
Justice Scalia saw through that subterfuge, though. ``Injuring him was the employer's intended means of harming Regalado,'' Justice Scalia wrote. ``Hurting him was the unlawful act by which the employer punished her.'' The court reinstated the lawsuit.
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