The Michigan Supreme Court upheld a jury verdict in favor of Kenneth Sciotti, a Detroit municipal employee who claimed he was denied promotions because he is white.
Sciotti joined the 36th District Court in 1979 as a file clerk, and later became a probation officer. Between 1998 and 2003, Sciotti was passed over for promotions to eight supervisory positions. The jobs went instead to black applicants Sciotti believed were less qualified.
At trial, Sciotti offered evidence of a lack of diversity in the court. He noted that the departments he applied to featured only one white supervisor, and that no white employees had been promoted to supervisory positions in those departments for four years.
The court will pay Sciotti $424,000—plus $151,000 to his attorneys for legal fees.
Note: Discrimination does not have to be intentional to violate the law. Consider periodic audits to ensure that your hirings and promotions are race- and gender-neutral.
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