In a recent lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Missouri employers) upheld the trial court’s decision that a hospital didn’t discriminate against one of its African-American surgical technologists based on her race or retaliate against her for lodging a discrimination complaint.
Janice Wright claimed that the suspicious timing of her termination — just 48 minutes after she complained of race discrimination — was clear evidence of retaliation. That several other African Americans were fired over a two-year period, according to Wright, provided further evidence of discrimination. Finally, she argued that the hospital’s performance expectations were impossible to meet and were different for white employees — the effect, she claimed, was that she was set up to fail.
Originally published in Missouri Employment Law Letter in November 2013.
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