Supervisor's retaliatory motive nearly tanks firing after fourth strike

A former Walmart employee who was fired for her inappropriate handling of a suspected shoplifter ― her fourth disciplinary action ― cannot continue with her retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 despite her supervisor's retaliatory motive. She argued her supervisor harbored a retaliatory motive against her due to sexual harassment complaints she made against him less than two months earlier. The 5th Circuit found that although the supervisor played a role in the investigation, the employee didn't present evidence the investigator relied on the supervisor's statements when making the termination decision. Of note for employers is the court's warning that the outcome would have been very different for Walmart had the supervisor inappropriately influenced the investigation.

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