Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Goes to Federal Appellate Court

An employment discrimination case that originated in Louisville, Kentucky in 2009, has recently made its way into a federal court of appeals.

Workforce Magazine reports that Katherine Keys, an African-American woman who had been employed as director of Humana Inc., received unfair treatment and eventual termination because of her race. The health insurer with Louisville headquarters, underwent two major structural reorganizations, after which Keys said both her responsibilities and her importance within in the company were diminished. She claims that her Caucasian counterparts did not experience the same treatment.

Keys was eventually terminated by Humana in June 2008. Company officials claimed that she was fired based solely on a negative performance assessment from 2006, despite the fact that she had a favorable performance appraisal from 2007, which they chose to ignore.

The federal appellate court accepted Keys’ case because the grounds on which the district court originally dismissed the case have been found insufficient. The district court cited the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in McDonnell Douglas Corp. vs. Green and said that Keys did not establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination.

The federal appellate court found that the evidence presented in the case did meet those standards, even if the original plea did not. The appellate court further concluded that the McDonnell Douglas framework is an evidentiary standard, not a plea standard.

Keys will now be able to argue her case again, this time before a federal court of appeals.

If you or a loved one has suffered similar discrimination in the workplace, you may be able to receive compensation. In today’s world, no form of abuse or discrimination should be accepted in any work environment.

Contact a workplace abuse lawyer at the Law Offices of Gacovino Lake & Associates for a free consultation. Call us today at: 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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