Getting up and going to work is hard enough without your colleagues giving you a hard time. While there are some justified reasons like thinking “Griffith did nothing wrong” or being a Swiftie, being discriminated against because of your race is not one of them. At a lower Texas court, a professor’s suit alleging discrimination was dismissed because it wasn’t didn’t relate to hiring, firing, or salary. Thankfully, the Appeals court decided the wrong test was applied to the professor’s situation. From Reuters:
A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a Texas state university must face a Malaysian political science professor’s race discrimination lawsuit after the court recently made it easier to prove workplace bias.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday that a judge was wrong to toss out Sugumaran Narayanan’s lawsuit against Midwestern State University[.]
What! The 5th Circuit! Since when are they making reasonable decisions? Broken clock twice a day I guess. It really is a new leaf for the Court:
The 5th Circuit, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, had for decades required plaintiffs in workplace bias cases to prove that their claims involved ultimate employment decisions in order to proceed. No other appeals court imposes such a high bar.
After Hamilton v. Dallas County, the Circuit decided that workplace discrimination claims have the much lower requirement of proving discrimination over one of the terms, conditions or privileges of employment — being denied the chance to teach summer classes definitely sounds like it falls under that umbrella. Listen, if Biglaw attorneys are at the point where they need side gigs for supplementary income, I doubt Sugumaran is the only teacher willing to go to court over the chance to pick up a couple more sections.
Isn’t it refreshing to read a 5th Circuit opinion that doesn’t delve in to biblical hermeneutics?
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by tweet at @WritesForRent.