Saturday, October 16, 2010

Discrimination case against Bank of America set for trial

While these are the characters of Final Fantasy VII, this
blog uses them to represent Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
and it's cousin the California Fair Employment and Housing
Act.  Photo Courtesy of Andrew Becraft.  
San Francisco Federal Judge Susan Illston largely denied summary judgment for Bank of America (BOA) in an employment discrimination case.  This allows the matter to proceed to trial unless the case settles.

BOA hired Constance Davis in November 2006 and terminated her a year later on November 5, 2007.  BOA claims the termination was because she violated company policy to call in when one was sick.  Ms. Davis claims there was no company policy to call in sick (though she did so anyway, most of the time) and she was terminated because of her race.  In particular she alleges:
that she and her team of minority [Mortgage Loan Officers] were required to use substandard offices; that she was not assigned a full-time assistant although Caucasian Sales Mangers were provided with such assistance; that she was not credited for her sales, which instead went to a Caucasian manager; her numerous complaints to Advice & Counsel were ignored; and that her termination was pretextual. Plaintiff also claims that Thompson [her supervisor] refused to provide her with support and guidance, made a racist comment to her during a meeting ("stay in your hood"), and treated her and the other minority sales managers differently than Caucasian sales managers. For example, plaintiff claims that Thompson refused to call on minority sales managers in meetings, refused to shake their hands despite the fact that she hugged and kissed non-minority sales managers, and used negative body language with plaintiff.
 Judge Susan Illston explained "The Court finds that there are numerous disputed issues of fact surrounding plaintiff’s termination, including the existence of a “call in policy” and whether plaintiff was terminated for violating such a policy."  She denied summary judgment with regard to both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

The case is Davis v. Bank of America No. C 09-0129 and the opinion is below the jump.

Davis v. Bank of America

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