Epstein Becker Green attorneys obtained a decisive victory for one of the world’s top law firms in a race discrimination, national origin discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York. The plaintiff, a Hispanic employee, had sued the law firm, claiming that the firm (i) paid higher wages to white employees than Hispanic employees in its Business Development Department, (ii) promoted only white employees to managerial positions in the department, and (iii) gave her an unfavorable performance review and a lower raise than usual because she had filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).

In its summary judgment motion, Epstein Becker Green, on behalf of the law firm, argued that the plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove any aspect of her case and thus the court should dismiss the case prior to trial. The court agreed and granted summary judgment for the firm.

The court specifically ruled that the plaintiff:

  • could not show discrimination by comparing her compensation to the compensation of white managers in the department because those managers were not similarly situated to her;
  • did not introduce evidence showing that she was more qualified for promotion than the white co-worker who received the promotion, and, thus, the firm’s judgment in promoting the co-worker over the plaintiff would not be second-guessed by the court;
  • had not demonstrated that the firm should have upgraded her position to the management level because the jobs and responsibilities of the white employees who were promoted to manager were not similar to her job and responsibilities; and
  • failed to establish the legally required linkage between her EEOC charge and the subsequent unfavorable review and smaller raise because she had testified during her deposition that she expected the unfavorable review before she filed her EEOC charge, and the smaller raise was a consequence of the unfavorable review. 
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