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Burmese man loses workplace discrimination appeal

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A man born in Burma whose employment at a Mooresville factory was terminated after co-workers complained about his behavior failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate his claim of discrimination based on national origin.

The court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer in Cung Hnin v. TOA (USA), LLC, 13-3658. After Hnin was fired from TOA’s automotive metal stamping plant, he sued claiming violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000.

Hnin claimed discrimination on the basis of national origin and also brought a retaliation claim, arguing the company fired him after he voiced concern about the promotion of ethnic Chin workers.

But the 7th Circuit panel affirmed judgment in the employer’s favor granted by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana. TOA investigated claims and interviewed employees who alleged that Hnin repeatedly insinuated a sexual relationship between two co-workers. Other co-workers said Hnin often got angry, acted aggressively and made them uncomfortable. He also told workers to slow down production so workers could get more overtime, according to the record.

“Viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences in Hnin’s favor, he has not pointed to any evidence suggesting that (TOA officials) did not honestly believe (their) reasons for terminating Hnin’s employment,” wrote Judge Amy J. St. Eve, sitting by designation from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. “Therefore, we affirm the district court’s judgment as to Hnin’s national origin discrimination claim.”

Regarding the retaliation claim, Hnin “has not presented a convincing mosaic of circumstantial evidence that would permit a jury to infer that TOA retaliated against him,” St. Eve wrote.




 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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