The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the employer in a recent Title VII and § 1981 race discrimination matter. Jackson v. Watkins, No. 09-10635 (5th Cir. Sept. 13, 2010), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/09/09-10635-CV0.wpd.pdf. The plaintiff, a white man, had served in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office for sixteen years and earned various honors during that time. In 2006, the newly-elected African-American Dallas County District Attorney fired the plaintiff and replaced him with an African-American. The plaintiff sued the District Attorney and Dallas County. After the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants on the plaintiff’s race discrimination claims, the plaintiff appealed.
The Court held that the only question on appeal was whether the plaintiff met his burden of producing evidence sufficient to show that the defendants’ stated reasons for terminating his employment were pretextual. The law requires a plaintiff to rebut each non-discriminatory reason offered by an employer to explain why it terminated the plaintiff’s employment. Because the plaintiff failed to rebut even one of the four reasons offered by the employer, the Court affirmed the summary judgment.
To speak to a Dallas, Texas employment law attorney about a race discrimination matter or another discriminatory workplace situation, contact the Dallas employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].
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