In November of 2012, the U.S. District court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case involving race discrimination and hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (See Walker v. Aaustin Express-Kentucky, LLC).
In Hill, the plaintiff was a customer service agent for Air Tran since 2005. Plaintiff is an African American. His direct supervisor was a Caucasian male. In 2006, plaintiff sent HR a letter accusing his supervisor of racial bias. A month letter plaintiff was given a final warning letter for unprofessional conduct. Then in 2007 plaintiff was suspended. Plaintiff claimed he was harassed and discriminated against because of his race by the defendant inconsistently enforcing company rules more strictly against him than that against white customer service agents. Plaintiff claims he was unlawfully terminated in retaliation for an activity protected under Title VII.
To make out a prima facie case of retaliation, plaintiff must establish 1) he engaged in activity protected by Title VII, 2) the exercise of his civil rights was known to the defendant, 3) thereafter, the defendant took an employment action adverse to plaintiff, and 4) there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. This Court held that a jury could infer retaliatory motive from the temporal proximity between plaintiff’s complaint of discrimination and the company’s decision to terminate him.
The burden then shifts to defendant to give a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for plaintiff’s termination. To that defendant would cite the unprofessional conduct and such that it had used and stated prior in this Kentucky race discrimination and retaliation case.
Then defendant would have the burden to discredit those reasons. And to that, plaintiff could meet his burden of showing that the explanations were pretextual by producing evidence that 1) they had no basis in fact, 2) they did not actually motivate the company’s decision or 3) they did not suffice to motivate that decision.
In this Kentucky race discrimination and retaliation case, the court held that plaintiff had showed that there was enough to send this matter to a jury in that plaintiff’s argument that the reason for his firing was not the real reason for his firing, that the taking of informal breaks for a little longer period of time was tolerated by the defendant for white workers but not for him who was black and that the enforcement of the rule was inconsistent and discriminatory.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky race discrimination and retaliation matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky race discrimination and retaliation lawyer at the Law Offices of Alitowski & Moore, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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