Southwestern university case

Named the 9 fastest growing education company in the United States. Thank you for your support! University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Beth Levine, one of his superiors, was biased against him and discriminated against him on account of his ethnicity.

Southwestern university case

Nassar is of Middle Eastern descent. Shortly after starting to work for the clinic, Dr. Beth Levine, the doctor in charge of the entire clinic, began asking Dr. Phillip Keiser, Nassar's supervisor, about Nassar's work habits and billing practices.

See NassarF. When talking with Keiser, Levine made a number of offensive comments, including remarks such as "Middle Easterners are lazy" and that the hospital had "hired another one," presumably referring to Nassar's race or ethnicity. Keiser told Nassar about these remarks and that Levine criticized the quality of Nassar's work and number of billing hours more than she did the rest of the doctors.

Despite the criticism, Levine suggested that Nassar seek promotion but gave various reasons why he would likely not be promoted.

Southwestern university case

See Nassar at — For example, Levine told Nassar that another doctor would block his promotion, although Nassar later found out that this doctor was not on the promotion committee and did not even oppose Nassar's promotion.

Eventually, Nassar was offered promotion but sought work under a different supervisor. In trying to switch supervisors, Nassar talked at length about Levine with Dr. Parkland offered to hire Nassar to work directly in the clinic but only if he resigned from the University.

On June 3,Nassar was officially offered a job in the Parkland clinic on Parkland's payroll, to start as of July 10, In the interim period, after being offered the job but before starting, Nassar resigned from the University. See Nassar at In his resignation letter, Nassar cited Dr. Levine's conduct, harassmentand discrimination as the primary reasons for his resignation.

Either before deciding whether to transfer Nassar or immediately after, Fitz blocked the hiring of Nassar. Nassar sued the UTSW alleging that this denial of transfer was actually a termination of his original position and that UTSW retaliated against him for claiming discrimination.

While affirming the finding of retaliation, the Fifth Circuit reversed the judgment regarding his termination.


Supreme Court to decide whether a person in Nassar's position would have to show that retaliation was the controlling motive in denying employment.

Supreme Court has held that employment discrimination under Title VII requires showing only that discrimination was at least one factor for a negative employment decision, the Court has held in the context of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ADEA that age discrimination must be the sole or "but-for" cause for the negative employment action.

See Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and Gross v. In contrast, respondent Naiel Nassar argues that the retaliation provision of Title VII should be given the same mixed-motive treatment as the discrimination provision to protect employees from retaliation just as much as other forms of unlawful discrimination.

Balancing the Costs on Employers with Those on Employees According to the American Council on Education and others collectively, ACE in support of UTSW, allowing a plaintiff who alleges retaliation under Title VII to show that retaliation was only one factor among others for a negative employment action would overly burden employers with a needlessly cumbersome legal framework.

ACE argues that reducing the burden of proof for plaintiffs would subject employer institutions to costly discovery processes that may unearth material normally protected by academic freedom for defending against potentially meritless lawsuits.

According to ACE, the rising costs of education make justifying litigation costs for universities difficult and so encourage schools to settle claims, regardless as to the likelihood that a plaintiff would win.

Chamber of Commerce argues that holding for Nassar would impose extra costs on large corporations and retailers that attempted to cut costs by maintaining uniform, neutral policies in all their operations.

A plaintiff in Nassar's position would have to show only that a supervisor had a retaliatory motive even if an employee was fired in violation of a neutral policy. The United States argues that requiring a plaintiff to show retaliation as the sole cause for a negative employment action would undermine the core of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

According to the United States, holding for UTSW would lead to victims of retaliation in the workplace becoming less likely to bring lawsuits while employers would be less likely to prevent retaliation.

Additionally, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedom Alliance together argue that requiring "but for" causation would chill speech and dissent on college campuses by allowing an employer institution to punish faculty or students for disagreeable speech but under the guise of neutral policies.Southwestern’s New Website Named Gold Winner in CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.

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Southwestern university case

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