By: Eugene Hollander
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Seventh Circuit Holds That Actionable Racial Discrimination Exists Even If All Not Targeted
On August 8, 2011, a unanimous panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that discrimination against some Hispanic employees violates fedreal anti-discrimination laws even if the company does not discriminate against others in the protected class. The appeals court reversed a summary judgment ruling by the district court in favor of the employer. Two plaintiffs were long time employees of Kraft Foods who lost their jobs in November, 2008, following an outsourcing. The employer pointed to evidence demonstrating that another Hispanic employee did not lose his job. In the opinion, Judge Diane Wood stated that “Title VII would have little force if an employer could defeat a claim of discrimination by treating a single member of the protected class in accordance with the law.” Our office routinely handles race discrimination claims and cases involving a hostile work environment.