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Friday, January 13, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Harris v. Warrick County Sheriff's Dept. (SD Ind., Young), a 10-page opinion, Judge Sykes writes:

The Warrick County Sheriff terminated Kevin Harris’s probationary employment as a deputy sheriff based on violations of standard operating procedures, failure to follow orders, and insufficient commitment to the job. Harris sued the Sheriff’s Department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.) and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, claiming he was fired because he is black. The district court entered summary judgment for the Department and Harris appealed.

We affirm. Harris’s circumstantial evidence of discrimination
falls far short of supporting an inference that he
was terminated because of his race. No evidence suggests
that the sheriff or other decision-makers participated
in any of the alleged racially charged behavior—
watching Blazing Saddles in the workplace and
giving Harris racially tinged nicknames. Finally, although
Harris identified several white deputies who were retained
despite performance problems during their probationary
employment, their misconduct was not comparable
to his, so they cannot be considered similarly
situated.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 13, 2012 11:28 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions