MGS attorneys Raymond H. Groble III and Laura Platt recently obtained a summary judgment for a railroad client in a federal racial discrimination and retaliation case.

The railroad employee alleged that his employer discriminated against him for being African-American and fired him for asserting his civil rights. The claims involved two incidents, one where he allegedly lied to his employer and received disciplinary action, and the other where he allegedly caused physical damage to company property. The employee was ultimately terminated for the second offense, which took place during the probationary period for the first offense.

A federal judge determined that no reasonable juror could conclude that the plaintiff would have avoided the disciplinary actions, including being terminated for the second offense if he had been of a different race. The court also found that plaintiff’s retaliation claim failed as the plaintiff was not able to show causation between the filing of an EEOC charge and his employment being terminated. At the time of his termination, the plaintiff had already been disciplined for dishonesty, a potential Stand-Alone dismissible violation. While his 36-month review period was underway, the plaintiff allegedly committed another serious violation, and had already received notice of the hearing regarding the second violation when he filed the EEOC Charge.

The court determined the timing of his termination was not suspiciously related to his EEOC charge and that the retaliation claim failed.

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