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Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Plaintiff on Race Discrimination Claim

/ 06/04/2010

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a plaintiff on her race discrimination claim.  Riley v. Sch. Board Union Parish, No. 09-30625 (5th Cir. May 20, 2010), available at

Plaintiff, an African-American certified to teach Social Studies, served as a substitute English teacher.  After her employer learned that she had been convicted of a crime years before, she was placed on paid leave.  She was quickly reinstated, but she was discharged when her employer hired a teacher certified to teach English.  The plaintiff then filed a race discrimination claim.

The plaintiff first alleged that she was terminated because of her criminal conviction, even though white employees with criminal convictions were not discharged; however, evidence did not support this contention.  The plaintiff also alleged that she was more qualified than the white teacher who replaced her.  The Court disagreed.  Although the plaintiff was certified to teach Social Studies, the other teacher had been certified to teach English, and, while her certification had lapsed, she reinstated it less than a week after she was hired.  The Court concluded that summary judgment for the employer was proper on the Title VII race discrimination claim. 

To speak to a discrimination attorney about a discriminatory work environment, please contact the employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].


Press Release Contact Information:


Clouse Dunn
Khoshbin LLP

214.220.3833 ( fax)
[email protected]

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