ALLEGING THAT OTHER EMPLOYEES DID IT DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE EMPLOYER APPLIED POLICES IN A DISCRIMINATORY MANNER IN A RETALIATORY DISCHARGE CASE
Black Creek, Inc. v. Ray Keith Wood
On July 31, 2009, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiff’s retaliatory discharge claim based on his filing a workers’ compensation claim. The Court of Appeals held that the defendant/employer should have received a Judgment as a Matter of Law.
The Court of Appeals held that the employee did not present substantial evidence that the employer’s basis for the termination was pretextual or false. The employer presented evidence that the employees use of foul language on the job and leaving work with out permission lead to the employee’s termination. The employee argued that "other employees did it", referencing the use of foul language, and they were not terminated. The Court of Appeals stated that this was not enough to prove the employer applied its policies in a discriminatory manner. This was further supported by several supervisors testifying that foul language was not acceptable.
Therefore, the employer established that the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation claim was not the sole basis for his termination.