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Federal Court Dismisses Atlanta Woman’s Race Discrimination and FMLA Claims

Discrimination based on race, gender, and age is still alarmingly common. If you believe you have been a victim of such unlawful conduct, you should talk to an Atlanta employment discrimination attorney about the possibility of filing a claim against your employer.

However, you should be aware of the requirements of such a claim, namely, that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to proof his or her case. This is not always easy, as most employers deny that any discrimination actually occurred.

Instead, the employer will likely point the finger at the plaintiff, blaming him or her for creating a situation that led to the dismissal, demotion, or failure to promote about which the employee complains.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who brought a claim for race discrimination against the defendant employer, seeking redress under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 , 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, alleging that she was terminated from her employment due to her race and that she was subjected to a hostile work environment. The plaintiff also sought to assert a claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., on the basis that the defendant had interfered with her rights under the FMLA and that it had retaliated against her for exercising them.

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, and the matter was submitted to a magistrate judge for a report and recommendation. The magistrate recommended granting the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff filed objections to the magistrate’s report.

Decision of the Court

In deciding whether to accept, reject, or modify the magistrates report and recommendation, the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, overruled the plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate’s report and recommendations, signified its approval of the report and recommendations, and adopted the report and recommendation as its opinion, thereby granting summary judgment to the defendant and dismissing the plaintiff’s claim. The court first noted that, in reviewing a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation following timely and proper objections by one or more parties to the litigation at hand, the district court was to make a de novo determination as to the findings or recommendations to which the objection(s) is made.

The plaintiff argued that the magistrate had improperly found that she failed to provide any direct evidence regarding the defendant’s alleged discrimination or disparate treatment, that the report and recommendation overlooked certain circumstantial evidence in her favor, that the magistrate erred in finding that she had failed to provide sufficient evidence as to her claim of a hostile work environment, and/or that she was not an “eligible employee” under FMLA. The district court disagreed with these contentions, agreeing with the defendant that the plaintiff had failed to submit sufficient evidence to support her claim of race discrimination and/or hostile work environment. The district court also agreed with the magistrate’s finding that the plaintiff had failed to provide satisfactory evidence as to her qualifications for relief under the FMLA.

Talk to a Lawyer About a Possible Atlanta Discrimination Claim

If you have questions about a possible discrimination claim or other employment law matter, experienced Atlanta employment discrimination Attorney John L. Mays at Parks, Chesin & Walbert can help. Call 877-986-5529 to schedule an appointment to learn more about your legal rights. Please be prompt in seeking an attorney’s advice about your case, as failure to file a timely claim will likely result in dismissal of your case.