Earlier this year, the U. S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, whose decisions apply to Michigan employers, expanded the coverage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s anti-retaliation provision when it held that the fiancé of an employee who made a complaint to the EEOC could bring a retaliation action when he was discharged by the employer.
The case was Thompson v. North American Stainless (No. 07-5040, 6th Cir., 2008). Eric Thompson worked as a metallurgical engineer for North American Stainless. He was engaged to Miriam Regalado, a co-worker. Their engagement was common knowledge at North American Stainless.
Retaliation against co-worker
In September 2002, Regalado filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that her supervisor discriminated against her because of her gender. The EEOC notified the employer of the charge on Feb. 13, 2003. On March 7, 2003, North American Stainless fired Thompson, citing