This Month Only! >> $20 off and a FREE SHRM tote with your membership and code TOTE2018!
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
A court dismissed a firefighter’s racial discrimination claim, finding that all individuals competing for the same promotion through the same testing process are not similarly situated.
Arnold Scott sought recovery from his employer, the city of Columbia, for alleged racial discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Scott’s claims focused on the city’s failure to promote him to the position of battalion chief. Scott alleged this non-promotion was due, at least in part, to a discriminatory promotional testing scheme. Scott also alleged that he was subjected to retaliatory discipline after he made complaints about perceived discrimination. Finally, he alleged he was denied overtime pay to which he was entitled. The city filed for summary judgment.
The court granted the city’s motion for summary judgment on Scott’s disparate treatment claim because he failed to present evidence that he was treated less favorably than any similarly situated employee outside his protected class with respect to the promotion process. Scott argued that he directly compared himself to the class of 2009. He claimed that white applicants who underwent similar testing conditions were promoted, but he was not.
However the court found that Scott’s argument would not support a claim of discrimination because it would effectively eliminate the requirement for similarly situated comparators by assuming that all individuals vying for the same promotion through the same process are similarly situated. If this were enough, every denial of a promotion would support a prima facie case of discrimination so long as the individual promoted was from outside a protected class to which at least one individual who was not selected belonged, the court said. The argument also fails because it relies on allegations that “the class of 2009” and unidentified “white men” were treated differently than Scott without providing any specific details as to why either the group or individuals should be considered similarly situated or precisely how they were treated differently under the same or similar circumstances, according to the court.
The court dismissed Scott’s disparate impact claim because he failed to provide statistical evidence, instead relying on subjective and anecdotal evidence. It also dismissed Scott’s retaliation claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Finally, it dismissed Scott’s wage claim, noting that Scott failed to offer any argument to support his claim.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Become a SHRM Member
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies