Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an employer in a race discrimination case concerning the discharge of a company’s top salesperson. Taylor v. Peerless Indus. Inc., __ F.3d __ (5th Cir. March 30, 2009), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/08/08-20216.0.wpd.pdf.
Darrell Taylor, an African-American employee at Peerless, was the company’s top salesperson in 2002 and was ahead of his sales quota in 2003 when Peerless terminated his employment. Taylor filed suit, alleging race discrimination. Peerless responded by alleging that Taylor was fired for failing to comply with management’s directives regarding customer calls, generation of new business, and internal communications. Peerless received summary judgment on the grounds that Taylor failed to show that Peerless’s stated reasons for firing Taylor were pretextual or that race was a motivating factor in its decision.
The Court affirmed the summary judgment. It rejected Taylor’s argument that his position as the top salesperson created an inference of discrimination. Instead, the Court found that Taylor’s sales numbers alone did not raise a fact issue of pretext because the alleged performance deficiencies were significant and because Taylor failed to submit evidence to rebut those allegations. Likewise, the Court rejected Taylor’s argument that race was a motivating factor in the termination decision because Taylor produced no evidence to support this allegation.
If you would like to speak to an employment law attorney about workplace discrimination, please contact the employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected]