Supreme Court Restricts Evidence of Employer’s Alleged Discrimination against other Employees

February 26, 2008

The United State Supreme Court issued its decision limiting the role of so called “me too” evidence in discrimination cases. In Sprint/United Management v. Mendelsohn, the Court ruled that an employee does not have an automatic right to introduce testimony by nonparties alleging discrimination at the hands of the company where the alleged discriminatory actions involve supervisors who played no role in the employment decisions related to the employee in the case.

The Ohio Employer’s Law Blog has a legal analysis of the ruling. The practical effect limits the types of evidence that courts (and hopefully administrative agencies like the EEOC) will consider in accessing the merits of a discrimination claim. Evidence of an employer’s treatment of “similarly situated employees” may be considered but must be closely related to the employee’s circumstances and theory of the case.   Who is “similarly situated” becomes the issue.