White supervisor fired for racial email has valid discrimination case over unequal discipline. A white supervisor received and then forwarded to others in the company a racial email titled “Why There Are No Black NASCAR Drivers.” It contained a series of derogatory stereotypes of Blacks. The supervisor was fired for violating the company’s anti-harassment and improper-computer-use policies. He sued under Title VII, claiming that the discharge was racially discriminatory. The court agreed that he had a valid case because, in the same time frame, several Black employees had been using company email to circulate “How to Dance Like a White Guy!” It contained a series of derogatory terms and stereotyped characterizations of white men. However, these employees only received short-term suspensions for violation of the harassment and computer policies. There was an appearance of racial disparity in the issuing of discipline for virtually the same infraction. Smith v. Lockheed-Martin Corp. (11th Cir., 2011).
EEOC ordered to pay employer’s legal fees because of frivolous case. The EEOC mounted a nationwide class-action lawsuit alleging that a large employer had a hiring policy with an adverse impact on Blacks. The alleged policy involved improper consideration of arrest-conviction records. However, during the discovery process, the company provided clear evidence that no such policy existed, and it had actually hired a large percentage of the people the EEOC accused it of rejecting. Nonetheless, the EEOC continued to pursue the case for two more years, requiring the company to expend great sums on the defense. The court ruled that the EEOC should pay all those costs and fees from the point it clearly should have known its case was without foundation, and the continuation of the case from that point was frivolous EEOC v. Peoplemark, Inc. (W.D. Michigan, 2011).