Nichols Kaster attorneys recently filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to resolve the dispute over how detailed an employee must be in her complaint before a court will allow the case to move forward. Some lower courts in recent years have required employees to plead more and more factual content—facts which most often sit in the hands of the defendant—before allowing a case to proceed in court. Other courts have stuck to the traditional rule that a complaint must only contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.
The case has implications beyond employee rights. The same kinds of heightened pleading standards effectively close the courthouse doors on many plaintiffs alleging environmental damage, consumer protection violations, and official misconduct. The case is Landers v. Quality Communications, Inc., No. 14-969. The petition was filed on February 10, 2015 by attorneys Paul Lukas and Adam Hansen of Nichols Kaster, PLLP and Leon Greenberg of Leon Greenberg PC.