Dallas Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissed on Summary Judgment

A Dallas employment discrimination lawsuit is not uncommon after an employee with a rocky workplace disciplinary record is ultimately terminated.

The employee will, of course, attempt to blame his or her firing on illegal conduct by the employer, such as discrimination based on race, gender, or age.

However, in many cases, the employer had a lawful reason for the termination.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case ruled upon by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, the plaintiff (an African American male) worked at the defendant hospital as an operating room aide from 2009 to 2016. He was terminated from his employment following an altercation in which the plaintiff was allegedly issued a citation for assault.

The plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that he had been subjected to discrimination and retaliation because of his race and his color. After exhausting his administrative remedies and receiving a right-to-sue letter, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant, asserting claims for race discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA). The defendant sought summary judgment.

Decision of the Court

The federal district court began its analysis by acknowledging the procedure for reviewing a motion for summary judgment. When, as here, the party moving for summary judgment is seeking dismissal of claims upon which the opposing party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the movant is entitled to summary judgment if it can point to the absence of admissible evidence supporting the opponent’s claims, unless the non-moving party goes beyond the pleadings and designates specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.

The court then went on to consider the plaintiff’s discrimination claim, noting that he relied upon circumstantial evidence to support his request for relief. In granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court determined that a reasonable jury could not find that the plaintiff was subjected to a racially hostile work environment and that the plaintiff had failed to create a genuine issue of fact on the ultimate issue of “but-for” causation with regard to his allegedly unlawful termination. In so holding, the court noted that the defendant had tendered evidence to the effect that the plaintiff was terminated for insubordination after having already received a “final warning.” Although the plaintiff contended that this was not the real reason that he was fired, he offered no evidence that he was actually fired due to his complaints of discrimination.

Consult a Dallas Employment Lawyer

Relationships between employers and employees can be tense, all too often leading to litigation about a perceived wrongful termination or other alleged act of discrimination. If your business has been accused of discrimination or other conduct in violation of an employee’s rights under the law, Key Harrington Barnes will be glad to talk to you about possible defenses. To schedule an appointment to discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced Dallas discrimination defense attorney, call us at 214-615-7925.

 

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