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First Circuit Rules in Favor of Plaintiff in Gender Discrimination Case, in which ZDB’s Monica Shah Authored an Amicus Brief on Behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (MELA)

On July 11, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment against Kathleen Burns, a former employee of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who suffered gender discrimination and a hostile work environment at the hands of a male supervisor who wielded a baseball bat in every interaction with her and ultimately stripped her of her main responsibilities.  ZDB attorney Monica Shah authored an amicus brief on behalf of MELA arguing that the lower court erred by requiring direct evidence of discrimination, disregarding substantial circumstantial evidence of discrimination (including stereotypical beliefs about a female employee’s role in positions of leadership and authority), and ratcheting up the standard for a hostile work environment claim.  Acknowledging MELA’s assistance to the Court, the First Circuit concluded that the lower court erred in these ways and that there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for a reasonable jury to find in Ms. Burns’ favor on both claims.  The Court’s decision and MELA’s amicus brief can be found here.

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