Magazine article HRMagazine

Material Changes to Job Duties Can Support Bias Claim

Magazine article HRMagazine

Material Changes to Job Duties Can Support Bias Claim

Article excerpt

Thompson v. City of Waco, 5th Cir., No. 13-50718.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed an employee to proceed with race discrimination claims against his former employer when, although the worker suf- fered no change in job title, pay or ben- efits, his job duties were significantly limited.

Allen Thompson worked for the City of Waco, Texas, as a police detective. The city suspended Thompson, who is black, and two other detectives, who are white, for falsification of time records. Upon Thompson's return to work, the city imposed certain restrictions on his job duties that were not applied equally to the white detectives. For example, Thomp- son was prohibited from searching for evidence without supervision, logging evi- dence and making an affidavit in a crimi- nal case.

Thompson sued the city for race discrimi- nation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, alleg- ing that the city's post- suspension job restric- tions constituted an unlawful demotion.

To establish a claim for race discrimina- tion under Title VII and Section 1981, an employee must establish that he was sub- ject to an "adverse employment action" that affected the terms and conditions of his employment. …

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