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Proof required to support discrimination claim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Just because a fired worker and his boss are of different races doesn’t mean discrimination has occurred.

Recent case: Ronald, who is black, headed up the IT department at a state agency where everyone else in his direct chain of command was white. When he was fired for alleged poor performance and for having accessed pornography at work, he sued.

He told the court that he had been frozen out of meetings and had his duties cut after he complained about what he perceived as mismanagement and race discrimination in hiring. He also said he had discovered a contractor was double-billing the agency.

The court dismissed Ronald’s race discrimination and retaliation claims, reasoning that the mere fact that the supervisors were white wasn’t enough to show discrimination. But it did send his whistle-blower claim back to a state court for further action. (Daniels v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 1:14-CV-1568, MD PA, 2015)

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