In Jones v. SEPTA (opinion here), the Third Circuit addressed an issue of first impression (that means they have never addressed it before): Does a paid suspension constitute an adverse employment action? In short, the Court answered "no." The Court pointed to a number of other circuit courts that have held the same way, concluding "we think this chorus is on pitch."
Two caveats to attach to this holding:
- The Court left itself some room to distinguish this case from other situations. For example, they held that a paid suspension "typically" does not constitute an adverse an employment action. So, there's a little (in my opinion, not much) wiggle room.
- The standard for an adverse action in the retaliation framework is different, and easier to establish. The Court specifically noted "we need not consider and do not decide whether a paid suspension constitutes an adverse action in the retaliation context."
The Court marked Jones "Precedential."