Monday, April 16, 2007

Supreme Court Denies Review of Jordan v. Alternative Resources

Shakyscales In a number of posts last year, we discussed a disturbing case in which the Fourth Circuit upheld the termination of an employee for reporting a racial epithet to his employer:

[T]he case concerned an employee complaining to his supervisors about being called an extremely ugly racial [epithet] at work.  After he complained, his work life became difficult and he was eventually fired. 

A 2-1 divided panel of the 4th Circuit found that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity for purposes of Title VII's anti-retaliation provisions.   A vigorous dissent argued that the court's reasoning placed the employee in a Catch-22 by placing "employees like Jordan in an untenable position, requiring them to report racially hostile conduct, but leaving them entirely at the employer’s mercy when they do so."

Later, the Fourth Circuit vacated its original position, but

reissued its opinion in Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corp., No. 05-1485 (4th Cir., Aug. 14, 2006) (on rehearing), and again found that the employee was not protected in reporting the offensive conduct.

The Supreme Court has today denied review of the case in its Order list and thus, we arrive at an unfortunate ending to an unfortunate case.


Employment Discrimination | Permalink

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» Round-Up from SCOTUSblog
Mark H. Anderson reports here (subscription req'd) in the Wall Street Journal on today's orders, including the Court's decision not to revisit rulings that vacated the conviction of Enron founder Kenneth Lay when he died. Anderson also has this article... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 16, 2007 2:06:46 PM

» End of the Road from The Debate Link
The end has come for Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corporation. I first blogged about the case here when the 4th Circuit issued its 2-1 panel ruling, and wrote again with an update when the ruling was approved by an even 5-5 vote en banc. To refres... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 17, 2007 6:40:51 PM