Just last week, on June 1st, the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed a district court’s summary judgment for the employer. The plaintiff in the case, an African American female, was denied a position and was told by a manager it was because they wanted a Korean for the job. The plaintiff immediately went to HR and complained about race and national origin discrimination and was fired a week later, without basis and without progressive discipline. The Court of Appeals said the district court erred in concluding that the denial of the plaintiff’s transfer was not an adverse action, that her race and national origin complaints were not protected, and that there was insufficient evidence that the reasons given for her termination were pretext for retaliation.
Amanda Farahany believes the case never should have been in the appellate court. “Our lower courts have taken summary judgment too far and have created an impossible labyrinth for plaintiffs,” says Farahany, “but the 11th Circuit has explained, once again, that summary judgment should only be granted when [the facts are] obvious and indisputable.”
Click to read the published opinion: Jefferson v. Sewon America, Inc., No. 17-11802 (11th Cir. June 1, 2018).