Burns v. Johnson, No. 15-1982 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a former employee of the Transportation Security Administration, filed suit against David Johnson, the Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge at the Boston Field Office of the Federal Air Marshals Service where Plaintiff worked, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), alleging sex discrimination and sex harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court dismissed Johnson from the suit and subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of DHS. The Supreme Court reversed the entry of summary judgment, holding (1) the district court erred by requiring Plaintiff to present direct evidence to establish sex discrimination under the mixed-motives theory; (2) the district court erred by requiring Plaintiff to show that Johnson’s conduct was both severe and pervasive to establish sex harassment; and (3) there was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which a reasonable jury could find in Plaintiff’s favor on both of her claims. Remanded.