Kalamazoo County Road Commission v. Deleon
This case involved race, national origin, and age discrimination claims that hinged on an employer’s decision to transfer an employee to a position involuntarily. The Sixth Circuit held that the employee’s involuntary transfer could constitute an adverse employment action sufficient to support the employee’s claims, where there was evidence that the employee was set up to fail by the transfer and was exposed to workplace hazards in his new position that could be deemed objectively intolerable to a reasonable employee. Despite the court’s holding that there was evidentiary support for the employee’s claim that his transfer was involuntary and that the transfer was not based on the employee’s earlier request for a transfer, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and two of its supervisors sought review in the Supreme Court of the question whether, and under what circumstances, an employer’s grant of an employee’s request for a transfer may constitute an adverse action sufficient to support a federal discrimination or retaliation claim.
PCLG was lead counsel for respondents, including the employee, in the Supreme Court. It filed an opposition arguing that the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied because the question raised by the petitioners is not presented, there is no circuit split on that question, and the interlocutory nature of the Sixth Circuit’s decision makes this case a poor vehicle for review. The Supreme Court denied cert.