In August of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case where a man claims that he was terminated as a result of sex discrimination and retaliation. (See Turner v. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 2013 WL 4102153 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). Plaintiff had worked for the defendant for many years prior to being fired. On March 20, 2008, plaintiff filed a complaint with the Cabinet’s Civil Rights Compliance Branch alleging that his supervisor sexually harassed him. Then in May of 2008, plaintiff alleges that he was denied a permanent branch manager position by the defendant so he then filed a complaint of sex discrimination and retaliation with the EEOC and KCHR on May of 2008 and January of 2009.
The plaintiff at work had filed an appeal and the Personnel Board determined that the retaliation claim was unfounded but that plaintiff’s poor evaluation in 2008 did not comply with the applicable regulations and should be removed from his personnel file. There was an appeal to the circuit court by the plaintiff. In the meantime, the EEOC had issued a Right to Sue letter to the plaintiff and so he filed his lawsuit claiming retaliation under Title VII and under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Id.
This case was in part about collateral estoppel and whether the Personnel Board’s findings were final or whether the case still had legs and had to be fully litigated at the circuit court level. On that issue this court held that under an election of remedies argument, Kentucky law holds that he could not be given two bites at the proverbial apple. “The KRS Chapter 18A proceeding involved the same parties and the same grievance that Turner seeks to assert in this case. As a result, he is barred from attempting to re-litigate it in this forum while using Kentucky law as the basis for his claims.” Id. But, the Title VII claim was not precluded as “congress did not intend un-reviewed state administrative proceedings to have preclusive effect on Title VII claims.” (cites omitted).
As to the Title VII claim, the court looked at if plaintiff had made his prima facie case. The court looked at all the facts and determined that plaintiff was not injured or harmed by defendant’s actions. There was no proof that he failed to receive his promotion because of the sexual harassment claim. There was a statewide freeze that took down the position and stopped the hiring. And when it was reposted, plaintiff did not re-apply. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Sex Discrimination and Retaliation lawyer case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Sex Discrimination and Retaliation lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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