ILNews

Worker didn't prove discrimination, retaliation

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

  2. wow is this a bunch of bs! i know the facts!

  3. MCBA .... time for a new release about your entire membership (or is it just the alter ego) being "saddened and disappointed" in the failure to lynch a police officer protecting himself in the line of duty. But this time against Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation: "WASHINGTON — Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/justice-department-ferguson-civil-rights-darren-wilson.html?ref=us&_r=0

  4. Dr wail asfour lives 3 hours from the hospital,where if he gets an emergency at least he needs three hours,while even if he is on call he should be in a location where it gives him max 10 minutes to be beside the patient,they get paid double on their on call days ,where look how they handle it,so if the death of the patient occurs on weekend and these doctors still repeat same pattern such issue should be raised,they should be closer to the patient.on other hand if all the death occured on the absence of the Dr and the nurses handle it,the nurses should get trained how to function appearntly they not that good,if the Dr lives 3 hours far from the hospital on his call days he should sleep in the hospital

  5. It's a capital offense...one for you Latin scholars..

ADVERTISEMENT