When someone files an Atlanta employment discrimination lawsuit based on an alleged act of race, color, gender, or religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, he or she must be able to establish that the defendant employer discriminated against him or her in the terms and conditions of his or her employment and that the plaintiff’s race, color, religion, or sex was a motivating factor in the defendant’s decision(s) concerning the plaintiff’s employment.
Motions for summary judgment are often filed by the defendant in employment discrimination lawsuits. If summary judgment is granted, all or part of the plaintiff’s claims are dismissed. If the motion is denied, the plaintiff’s case proceeds toward trial.
Facts of the Case
In a recent federal case, the plaintiff was a 56-year-old, dark-skinned, black Christian male who alleged that he had been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination and that he had been retaliated against for complaining about this unlawful discrimination. He filed suit against the defendant employer in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Department, seeking legal redress for the defendant’s failure to pay him for three day of work that he missed while he was on jury duty even though it paid a black woman for her time on jury duty; his supervisor’s failure to grant him religious accommodations on Sundays; certain “negative comments” by his supervisor following his complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and his termination the following month.
The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiff had been fired due to the lack of efficiency of his service, averring that the plaintiff had disturbed other employees after being told not to do so; that he was unable to perform his work in a timely manner, such that another employee had to be assigned to help him; and that he had failed to follow instructions in the workplace.
The District Court’s Opinion
The court granted summary judgment to the defendant. According to the court, the plaintiff’s claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act failed because the plaintiff had not presented any evidence that the defendant discriminated against him due to his age. As to his remaining claims, the court found that the plaintiff had not presented evidence, or even alleged facts to suggest, that his race, color, or age were motivating factors in the defendant’s decision to terminate his employment.
Although the plaintiff had asserted that a female employee was paid for jury duty while he was not, the court pointed out that there was no evidence that the denial of pay was because of the plaintiff’s sex; the plaintiff’s jury duty fell on days on which he was not already scheduled to work, and there was no evidence as to whether the same situation was true for the female employee who received paid time for her jury service. Without this evidence, there was no proof that as to why the employees were treated differently, in the court’s opinion.
Seek Legal Counsel About an Act of Employment Discrimination
If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys of Parks, Chesin & Walbert at here to help. Please contact us at 404-873-8048 or contact us through this website to learn more about our services. As in other types of civil claims, please be mindful that are filing deadlines for employment discrimination claims, and failure to file a timely claim may result in dismissal of your case even if your claim would have otherwise been actionable.