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Unformatted text preview: v. City of Pittsburgh, 120 F.3d 1286,
1302 (3d Cir.1997), abrogated on other grounds by Burlington No. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. 272 V. White, --- U.S. ----, 126 S.Ct. 2405, 165 L.Ed.2d 345 (2006); see also Krouse v.
American Sterilizer Co., 126 F.3d 494, 503 (3d Cir.1997).
 In the present case, Walsh fails to establish causation on the basis of temporal
proximity. The fact that his termination occurred after the letter is not sufficient to infer a
causal link, and the elapsed period of eight months is not " 'unusually suggestive' of
retaliatory motive." Krouse, 126 F.3d at 503 (quoting Robinson 120 F.3d at 1302).
*3 In the absence of temporal proximity, causation may be established by a "pattern of
antagonism" tending to show causation between the protected act and adverse
employment action. Woodson v. Scott Paper Co., 109 F.3d 913, 920 (3d Cir.1997)
(quoting Robinson v. Se. Penn. Transp. Auth., 982 F.2d 892, 895 (3d Cir.1997).
Although the facts of this case present a tense employment situation in which numerous
reprimands and aggressive monitoring of Walsh may have been excessive, there is no
evidence to suggest that these actions arose in response to Walsh's letter, or even that the
situation worsened after the submission of the letter. In order to establish a causal link, a
pattern of antagonism must demonstrate retaliatory motive on the part of the employer.
The evidence presented in this case does not suggest such a link.
Finally, causation may be supported by evidence that the employer knew of the protected
activity and acted with retaliatory motive. McGorrian v. E.M.S.A., 85 F. App'x 1, 3 (3d
Cir.2003) (not precedential); see also Wrighten v. Metro. Hosps., Inc., 726 F.2d 1346,
1354 (9th Cir.1984). In the present case, there is no evidence that Mr. Stover, the
manager who made the decision to terminate Walsh's employment, even knew of the
letter. Absent evidence that the decision-maker had knowledge of the protected activity,
"a substantial gap [exists] in any causal chain suggested [even] by temporal proximity."
McGorrian, 85 F. App'x at 4. Without evidence to show that Walsh's letter was a factor in
the decision t...
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- Spring '08