Magazine article HRMagazine

Color Bias Claim Survives Absent Race Discrimination

Magazine article HRMagazine

Color Bias Claim Survives Absent Race Discrimination

Article excerpt

Statements by a general manager that a former employee was "too black to do various tasks" and that a "dark skin" black person was not allowed to handle money constituted direct evidence of discrimination, according to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Esma Etienne, a black woman, sued her former employer, Spanish Lake Truck & Casino Plaza LLC, for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Etienne, who worked as a waitress and bartender, alleged that Spanish Lake's general manager, Bernard Terradot, failed to promote her to a managerial position, despite the fact that she was qualified, because of her race and color.

Etienne submitted an affidavit by Jeannene Johnson, a former manager at Spanish Lake, in support of her allegations. In the affidavit, Johnson indicated that Terradot determined each employee's responsibilities based on the employee's skin color. Johnson further indicated that Terradot, on numerous occasions, said Etienne was "too black" to perform certain tasks.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Spanish Lake. …

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