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
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Thanks for this article. We live in Evansville, IN and are aware of how bad the child abuse is here. Can you please send us the statistics for here in Vanderburgh, County. Our web site is: www.ritualabusefree.org Thanks again

  2. This ruling has no application to Indiana. The tail end of the article is misleading where it states criminal penalties await those who refuse a test. This is false. An administrative license suspension is what awaits you. No more, no less.

  3. Yellow journalism much??? "The outcome underscores that the direction of U.S. immigration policy will be determined in large part by this fall's presidential election, a campaign in which immigration already has played an outsized role." OUTSIZED? by whose standards? Also this: "In either case, legal challenges to executive action under her administration would come to a court that would have a majority of Democratic-appointed justices and, in all likelihood, give efforts to help immigrants a friendlier reception." Ah, also, did you forget an adjective at the *** marks ahead by any chance? Thinking of one that rhymes with bald eagle? " In either case, legal challenges to executive action under her administration would come to a court that would have a majority of Democratic-appointed justices and, in all likelihood, give efforts to help *** immigrants a friendlier reception."

  4. Definition of furnish. : to provide (a room or building) with furniture. : to supply or give (something) to someone or something. : to supply or give to (someone) something that is needed or wanted. Judge Kincaid: if furnish means provide, and the constitution says the provider in a uni is the township, how on earth are they seperated??

  5. I never filed a law suite. I had no money for a lawyer. In 2010 I presented for MRI/with contrast. The technician stuck my left arm three times with needle to inject dye. I was w/out O2 for two minutes, not breathing, no ambulance was called. I suffered an Embolism ,Myocardia infarction. Permanent memory loss, heart damage. After the event, I could not remember what I did five seconds earlier. I had no-one to help me. I lost my dental hygiene career, been homeless, etc.

ADVERTISEMENT