Worker didn't prove discrimination, retaliation

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling that a company's elimination of a worker's position, along with not rehiring her after restructuring, didn't constitute retaliation or a hostile work environment.

In Dayna L. Scruggs v. Garst Seed Co., No. 07-2266, Dayna Scruggs appealed the District Court's ruling, believing she was a victim of retaliation by Garst Seed Co. because after she filed a discrimination charge, her position as research technician at a seed breeding research facility was eliminated.

Scruggs' supervisor, Curtis Beazer, often made derogatory comments toward Scruggs and other employees. Some of those comments had to do with her intelligence, gender, or ability. She complained to Beazer's supervisor about the treatment.

Shortly thereafter, another company bought a majority interest in Garst Seed in September 2004. As part of restructuring, Scruggs' position was eliminated. She didn't learn about it until several months later because she was out on medical leave and claimed she didn't receive a message about the changes.

She filed a discrimination charge in December 2004. After that, Garst was hiring under the restructured system and Scruggs applied for a research assistant position, but the company hired someone else who had a college degree and experience in the field. Scruggs then filed her second discrimination charge claiming retaliation.

The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Garst on Scruggs' claims of retaliation, hostile work environment, and gender discrimination.

Because the company-wide restructuring plan eliminated Scruggs' position before she even filed her first charge of discrimination, the company didn't fire her for retaliation, wrote Judge Ann Claire Williams. Garst also didn't retaliate by not hiring her for the research assistant position because she didn't have the qualifications necessary for the job. She didn't have a college degree or the required experience to be the research assistant.

Scruggs also failed to prove her claim of hostile work environment because while Beazer did make inappropriate comments toward her, most of them related to Scruggs' work habits or alleged lack of sophistication, the same types of comments he made to other male and female employees, wrote the judge.


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  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.