Many times workers face the difficult situation of being laid off as the
result of a “reduction in force.” But how do you know if that
reduction in force is really masking employment discrimination? In a recent
Rachells v. Cingular Wireless Emp. Servs., LLC, – a black employee – Rachells – alleged that he was
“singled out for impermissible reasons.” The court agreed
with the worker, noting that after looking at the worker’s record
of outstanding results, including top sales among his peers for several
years, several red flags were raised concerning the company’s purported
nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating a top performer.
If you have questions about employment discrimination or what’s appropriate
in RIFs, it’s important that you consult with a top Atlanta employment
attorney right away.
Here, this issue arose after Rachells, a national retail account executive
in Cleveland was terminated by Cingular Wireless during a 2005 reduction
in force, despite having a sales record superior to the three white employees
in his group who were retained. The Sixth Circuit appellate court reviewed
the case and found that the lower court impermissible disregarded “two
crucial categories of evidence”: evidence of Rachells’ “superior
qualifications” and affidavits from two former Cingular employees
attesting to a racially discriminatory work environment.
If your company has laid you off during a RIF its important that you take
a look around you and ensure hat your employer is not trying to use an
“RIF” to employ discriminatory tactics to get rid of workers.
For more information, or if you need an experienced discrimination lawyer,
please contact the top
Atlanta discrimination attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.
In this instance, after Cingular wireless acquired AT&T, the company
evaluated each employee and ranked Rachells 7th out of 9, although he
had a higher sales performance record. As part of the RIF however, the
company took into consideration inappropriate criteria and a “comparator
group” that was significantly different. The Sixth Circuit said
the district court made multiple errors in analyzing Rachells’ case
including using different criteria to evaluate the candidates and having
different people make the evaluations.
Here, because the company used a significantly different comparator group
along with additional evidence that showed race-based discrimination”
within Cingular’s Cleveland region, the appellate court found that
Rachells could maintain his case for race discrimination.
For more information or if you believe you may have been subjected to race
bias at work, please contact the top
Atlanta race discrimination attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.