I recently blogged about a case where a supervisor told an employee that she “[couldn’t] stand [his] black ass” in an altercation that culminated in the employee’s termination. There, despite the closeness in time between the comment and the employment decision at issue, the court found insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination, and the employer won the case. More recently, a case out of Maryland’s federal district court...read more
Direct, qualification, and comparator evidence, oh my! In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit recounted the ways in which a former utility distribution serviceman failed to prove discrimination in violation of Title VII and Section 1981. Matias v. Elon University, No. 18-2507 (4th Cir. 7/22/19) (unpublished). Matias, who is Mexican, worked for Elon University from 1999 to 2016. After being promoted to utility distribution serviceman in 2005,...read more
In an effort to clarify the way discrimination claims are evaluated by judges in the Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overruled Circuit precedent requiring employees to prove allegations through either a “direct” or an “indirect” method that showed a “convincing mosaic” of discrimination. Ortiz v. Werner Enters., Inc., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15284 (7th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016). The underlying facts of the case are...read more
Kellogg USA finds itself facing a jury trial. In McCartt v. Kellogg USA, Inc., No. 5:14-318-DCR (E.D. Ky. Oct. 14, 2015), a former sales representative, James McCartt, was over age 60 when he was fired in a corporate downsizing. He sued for age discrimination because his manager, Kevin Grzanka, had made an age based comment about his performance. His unwise manager had said that Mr. McCartt was "too old and set in his ways" and that Kellogg and...read more
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