March 3, 2013

Louisville National Origin Discrimination

In August of 2011 the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky decided a case involving national origin discrimination. (See Alamer v. Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, Inc., 2011 WL 3989306 (W.D. Ky. 2011)). Two Plaintiffs sued the defendant in this case Plaintiff One’s national origin discrimination case was because he was Cuban. Plaintiff Two’s national origin discrimination was because he was from Iraq.

Plaintiff One began working for the defendant in September of 2006. Id. He was a full time employee and began as a line operator. He wanted to work the forklift and told his boss this. In April of 2007 he complained to his supervisor that he was being excluded because he was “Spanish.” Id. In that time period he also asked for a respiratory mask. Id. In June of 2007 plaintiff complained that another white male was given preferential treatment with regard to having to work overtime following a 16 hour shift. In September of 2007 a co-worker verbally assaulted Plaintiff. Id. Then in September of 2007 Plaintiff suffered a back injury at work and had to miss a few days. He was then fired on October 1, 2007. Id. Plaintiff the next day contacted the EEOC alleging the national origin discrimination. On October 4, 2007, the defendant reinstated plaintiff back to his job claiming an administrative error for his initial firing. Id.

Plaintiff One went back to work but with temporary restrictions. He did so until March of 2008. But then the temporary restrictions were made permanent. Id. Finally in June of 2009, plaintiff was terminated after the collective bargaining agreement term limits had expired. Id.

Plaintiff Two began working for the defendant in December of 2005. In March of 2006 he had attained seniority and union status. Id. In May of 2007 he was disciplined along with a fellow Iraqi employee for failing to properly perform a task. Plaintiff claimed he was not properly taught this task. He claimed the American co-workers were but not him. Id. In July of 2007 Plaintiff suffered a severe work injury to his cervical spine. He was put on work with restrictions. Plaintiff was then given job duties that were contrary to his restrictions and made his medical condition worsen. So on September 10, 2007 he filed an EEOC charge alleging the Louisville national origin discrimination. In October of 2007 Plaintiff claims that his supervisor made inappropriate comments about his national origin. Id. Then In November of 2007 Plaintiff was placed on work restrictions and finally in June of 2009 when his collective bargaining agreement had ended, plaintiff was terminated.

“Both plaintiffs assert KCRA claims for national origin discrimination. Id. To state a prima facie case of national origin discrimination, a plaintiff must show that he or she is: 1) is a member of a protected class, 2) suffered an adverse employment action, 3) was qualified for his or her position, and 4) was replaced by someone outside his or her protected class, or was treated differently than similarly–situated, non-protected employees.” (cites omitted).

This Court held that both plaintiffs fell short on proving an “adverse employment action.” Id. During their working at the company neither lost job benefits nor received a loss of pay or demotion even after all the time they had taken off for illness. Id. Thought they believe they were mistreated, that alone is not enough. “A ‘bruised ego’ or a ‘mere inconvenient or an alteration of job responsibilities’ is not sufficient to constitute an ‘adverse employment action’ under Title VII.” (cites omitted). Accordingly, the court in this Louisville national origin discrimination case dismissed both claims by both plaintiffs with this regard.

If you have been the subject of a Louisville national origin discrimination case, please call and speak to a Louisville national origin discrimination lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!