In November of 2012 the Court of Appeals of Kentucky decided a case involving Louisville sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination. (See Taylor V. United Parcel Service, Inc., 2012 WL 5630421 (Ct.App. Ky. 2012)). In this Louisville sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination case the plaintiff alleged that he was wrongfully fired. Plaintiff had filed a federal sexual harassment and retaliation complaint in 2006. He claims that the October 2007 firing was in retaliation for this. Defendants stated he was fired after an investigation determined that he made threatening statements to a coworker.
The prima facie case for retaliatory firing is that the plaintiff “1) engage in a protected activity, 2) the employer knew that the former employee had done so, 3) adverse employment action was taken, and 4) there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.” (cites omitted). Both sides in this Louisville sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination case agreed that the first three elements were met. It was the fourth that they fought over.
“To meet the causation element, “the plaintiff is not required to demonstrate that the sole or even the primary reason for the termination was related to the protected activity, but only that it pursuit was a ‘substantial and motiving factor’ in the decision to terminate.”” (cites omitted). This appellate court disagreed with the lower court that he had not met his prima facie case. Though the complaint was first filed in May of 2006 and he was not discharged until October of 2007, it is not only the filing of a complaint that is protected but also “testing, assisting, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under KRS Chapter 344.” (cites omitted). Thus, plaintiff had met his burden.
But, the defendant then was able to give a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for his firing. Defendant claims that plaintiff threatened another employee. It was then up to the plaintiff to show that this was a pretext reason for his firing. Id. Plaintiff presented two employees that he claimed were similarly situated. The court did not agree. “In order to show that a plaintiff is similarly situated to another, the plaintiff is required to prove that all of the relevant aspects of their employment situation were nearly identical to those of the similarly situated employee.” (cites omitted). The record does not detail their job titles or responsibilities, their history of discipline of complaints, or any details necessary to determine whether they were similarly situated to the plaintiff aside from their violations of defendant’s policies. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Discrimination case, please call and speak to a L Louisville Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Discrimination 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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