History + Pretext = Trial

more+
less-

A history of workplace racial imbalance might undermine your legitimate non-discriminatory reason for a promotion decision. In Ahmed v. Johnson, No. 13-1054 (1st Cir. May 21, 2014), the plaintiff argued he was passed over for promotion because of his race, national origin, or religion. A supervisor, who had recommended three other men for promotion, asserted he did it based on qualifications, but, in some respects, it looked like he recommended people he knew well. Consequently, his stated reliance on qualifications might well have been a pretext for some other motive – favoritism? cronyism? not necessarily illegal discrimination. To tip the balance, the court relied on evidence of past hiring and promotion decisions that “entirely excluded African-Americans and, perhaps, Muslims.” Given the evidence of pretext, plus the history, the court sent the case to trial.

Courts made the decision-makers here the victims of their circumstances, but only because there was evidence they mischaracterized their actual reasons for the promotion decisions. Play it straight.

 

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sherman & Howard L.L.C. | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.
×
Loading...
×