7th Circuit affirms court in retaliation claim

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A man who claimed he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for claiming racial discrimination at his workplace was fired for just cause, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

From 2005 to August 2007, Kenneth Harper – who is African-American – was an instructor for truck driving school C.R. England Inc. In March 2007, he alleged that another African-American employee called him a racial epithet within earshot of his immediate supervisor, Eric Metzler, who is also African-American. Metzler said he never heard the insult, and after interviewing other people who had been in the room with Harper, he was unable to substantiate Harper’s claims.

In July 2007, Metzler met with Harper to issue several written warnings about his poor attendance, telling him he could not miss any more work for the remainder of the year. Harper subsequently took several days off to attend his sister’s wedding. In August, Harper was fired; by that time, he had missed 17 days of work in 2007.

Following the termination of his employment, Harper filed a charge of racial discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against C.R. England. On March 6, 2008, after receiving a “right to sue letter” from the EEOC, Harper filed a complaint in the Porter Superior Court, alleging racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 and Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e et seq. C.R. England removed the case to the District Court and, once removal was effected, moved for summary judgment.

The District Court concluded Harper had failed to set forth a prima facie case, under either the direct or indirect method of proof, to support his claim that C.R. England had retaliated against him for reporting what he believed to be unlawful racial discrimination. The 7th Circuit affirmed the District Court’s findings in Kenneth Harper v. C.R. England, Incorporated, No. 11-2975.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.