Fifth Circuit finds Direct Evidence of Racial Discrimination

Cases involving direct evidence of racial discrimination don't come up as much as they used to. Most employers (even very racist ones) are smart enough not to say, "I'm not going to hire you because your black!" during a job interview. But every now and then we see one. Sometimes those cases are interesting in the lengths to which an appellate court will go to hold that the language at issue in a particular case is not direct evidence of discrimination but rather mere "stray-remarks" that do not rise to a sufficient level to indicate discriminatory intent.

Not so in a case this week out of the Fifth Circuit. In Jones v. Robinson Property (5th Cir, October 11, 2005) the Court dealt with a case brought by an African-American plaintiff alleging that the defendant refused to hire him as a casino poker dealer due to his race. The evidence showed that the hiring decision-maker used the "n-word" "without any qualms whatsoever" and once stated in response to why a black job candidate wasn't hired that "these good oldwhite boys don?t want black people touching their cards."In deciding that this evidence was sufficient direct evidence of discriminatory intent to overcome summary judgment, the Court points out that in past decisions, it "has implied that calling an employee a ?nigger? would be direct evidence of race discrimination." citing Kendall v. Block, 821 F.2d 1142, 1145-46 (5th Cir. 1987). Apparently, the Court now wishes to make it more than an implication.Sexual Harassment, Pregnancy Discrimination, Age Discrimination, San Antonio, Employment Lawyer