Fifth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Failure to Hire Matter
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a summary judgment ruling for an employer in a failure to hire case. Johnson v. Maestri-Murrell Prop. Mgmt., LLC, No. 11-30914 (5th Cir. Aug. 14, 2012), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/11/11-30914.0.wpd.pdf.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to hire her as the assistant manager of an apartment complex based on her race, African American, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court granted summary judgment for the employer.
On appeal, the Court reversed, holding that the plaintiff established a prima facie case of racial discrimination. The Court noted that the outgoing assistant manager provided direct evidence of discrimination. According to this testimony, the hiring manager did not think that the employer wanted an African American assistant manager. This, the fact that the plaintiff’s resume had no markings on it (unlike the resumes submitted by other job candidates), and the fact that the employer hired a Caucasian, could form the basis for a jury to conclude that the employer failed to hire the plaintiff because of her race. Because of this, the Court reversed the summary judgment.
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KEITH A. CLOUSE
Clouse Dunn LLP
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