Paid Suspension Not Adverse Employment Action Under Title VII, According to Third Circuit Court of Appeals

In Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a paid suspension is not an adverse employment action in the “substantive discrimination context.” A predicate for a discrimination claim under the various anti-discrimination laws, requires the plaintiff to show she suffered an “adverse employment action,” generally described as an action or incident substantially serious to alter an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. In the absence of an adverse employment action, a discrimination claim fails. Now, a paid suspension, as determined by the Circuit Court, is not significantly sufficient to affect the employment relationship to create liability under Federal and Pennsylvania State anti-discrimination laws.