Seventh Circuit Decides Race Discrimination Case

Charles W. Miller & Associates

Indiana employment lawyers are pleased with the July 20, 2010 Seventh Circuit Decision that reversed the District Court’s decision in favor of a healthcare facility which was honoring the racially motivated preferences of residents.

The case, Chaney v. Plainfield Healthcare Center, reviewed the summary judgment motion granted by the trial court. According to the decision Chaney alleged that she was 1) prohibited from providing assistance to nursing home residents who requested “white-only” care, 2) subjected to comments by coworkers including the use of racial slurs and profanity, and 3) subjected to a suspicious and unexplained termination.

The defendant argued that it needed to adhere to the patients’ requests to not be assisted by African-American CNAs, that catering to these requests amounted to a bona fide occupational qualification. The Seventh Circuit, however, did not agree.

Instead, the Court held that the law does not support race as a bonafide occupational qualification. The Court reversed, returning the case to the lower court for further proceedings.

If you have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace or subjected to discriminatory comments by your coworkers, you should contact a discrimination attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your rights.

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