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Cleaner’s Workload Shows Disparate Treatment

An African-American female housekeeper at a retirement home has stated Title VII claims for race and sex discrimination based on alleged disparate treatment in which she was assigned 148 rooms to clean, while one male Caucasian worker was only assigned 30 rooms and another such worker slept on the job, with supervisor approval; however, the Richmond U.S. District Court dismisses plaintiff’s claims for sexual harassment for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies.

Plaintiff’s complaint allows for an inference of discriminatory intent. Although plaintiff does not allege defendant employer actually fired her, she does contend her employer’s consistently less favorable treatment resulted in her constructive discharge, which is one form of adverse employment action.

Plaintiff is an African-American female who had two Caucasian male coworkers. She alleges her supervisor Jennifer Burton – the supervisor of all three workers – singled her out for criticism and harsh treatment. She also alleges she was demoted in order to promote a white male and that her growth in the company was “stymied” because of her sex and race. The notes plaintiff took while working and her brief in opposition to defendants’ motion to dismiss chronicle her travails at the  hands of Burton and others. She claims Burton allowed her coworkers a more flexible schedule, better overtime hours and better training. She claims the Caucasian males were allowed to be insubordinate and sleep on the job and they were assigned a far lighter work load. Finally, she claims that on multiple occasions her supervisors said they needed a male to do her job, and that they were trying to build up a file to fire her. In the end, she decided to leave the job because of this discriminatory treatment. Such allegations are sufficient at this stage of the litigation.

Plaintiff may not rely on incidents of discrimination that occurred before Feb. 22, 2011 (300 days prior to her filing of an EEOC charge) to form the basis of her discrimination claims, but she may use those incidents as background evidence tending to prove discriminatory actions within the 300-day window.

Coleman v. Masonic Home of Virginia (Gibney) No. 3:12cv682, Jan. 15, 2013; USDC at Richmond, Va. VLW 013-3-024, 11 pp.

VLW 013-3-024

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