Then, register here for a free interactive webinar, “How to Navigate Alcoholism and Substance Abuse under the FMLA/ADA,” that I’m presenting with Cigna’s Robyn Marino, Esq. on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET.
Did I mention that it’s free? As in, this like blog, but better (and less creepy) than this post.
Here’s how it went down:
First, Plaintiff told another Ball Metal employee, Rob Lemaster (“Lemaster”) that if Plaintiff lost his job at Ball, Plaintiff would “[g]o out and kill a bunch of people that I hate.” Second, Plaintiff was involved in a verbal and possibly physical altercation with an African-American Ball Metal employee, George McCray (“McCray”). McCray worked as a utility palletizer in the welding department. Third, the next day, Plaintiff told Lemaster that if Plaintiff lost his job, McCray would go missing.
Where’s the discrimination? Err, the plaintiff claimed that Ball Metal was “an unusual employer” who favored black employees over white employees because it terminated him and not Mr. McCray.
And the evidence? Yeah, about that…
The court noted (opinion here) that the decisionmakers were white, like the plaintiff. And, while it’s possible for white decisionmakers to discriminate against a white employee because of his race, a plaintiff making those claims has a heightened burden to clear. That is, he should present either statistical evidence or facts indicating an “organizational preference” for African-American employees. Since that evidence was lacking — the plaintiff’s say-so not qualifying as “evidence,” — the employer prevailed.
A couple of takeaways
- Take all complaints of discrimination seriously, including complaints from white males.
- Take all complaints of workplace violence seriously. And act quickly.
- Register for that free webinar!