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Race Discrimination Case May Proceed Where Discrimination Is "Plausible."

Unfortunately race discrimination continues to occur in many work places. Often times, the actions are not blatant or obvious but may consist of policies or subtle practices that treat workers different on account of their race.

Title VII was initially thought to be limited to blacks and other racial minorities, not white employees. But the law protects individuals of all races and colors, not simply racial minorities. If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination due to your race, it’s important to consult with an Atlanta discrimination attorneyright away.

A recent case looked at what facts must be alleged when you first file a race discrimination lawsuit. In a race discrimination case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Keys v. Humana Inc., the court reviewed whether a woman – Kathryn Keys – who filed the lawsuit had to specifically state (allege) in her complaint that she was treated differently than similarly situated white employees.

At the lower level, the district court dismissed the woman’s complaint because Keys didn’t specifically identify another worker in her same position that was treated better. However, the appellate court thought this was the wrong decision and reversed. The court looked at Key’s allegations that after she was initially hired as a director, she was removed from her job and demoted to the position of “individual contributor.” No white directors received the same demotions. She also was placed on a “performance improvement plan” (PIPs) even though she had met the job expectations. Similarly situated white employees were not placed on PIPS, but an additional 10-12 black managers were and were forced to resign.

Keys subsequently submitted a formal complaint. She was then demoted, and eventually fired.

The appellate court stated that at the initial pleading stage, a person must simply include “enough factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is responsible for the misconduct alleged.” This means the complaint must alleged enough facts to make it “plausible” that discrimination occurred.

Specifically, the court determined that the complaint needed to present “detailed factual allegations,” with sufficient factual content from which a court “informed by its ‘judicial experience and common sense,’ could draw the reasonable inference” that race discrimination existed here. But, setting forth enough facts at this stage to prove your case wasn’t necessary.

Determining whether race discrimination exists may be complex. If you believe you have been subjected to race discrimination it’s important to speak to a dedicated Atlanta race discrimination lawyer to help sort things out. For more information, please contact the top Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, LLC for an immediate case evaluation.

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