United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Employment — race discrimination
Where a black police sergeant alleges that he was denied transfer to more desirable shifts because of his race, the complaint should not have been dismissed.
“The amended complaint alleges that Lavalais’s assignment to the midnight shift for an indefinite period of time stripped him of his authority as a sergeant, significantly diminished his job responsibilities, and caused him to be ‘virtually powerless’ as a sergeant. It also alleges that Lavalais is ‘seldom permitted to perform sergeant duties,’ including ‘instructing officers on what actions they should take [or] not take,’ First Am. Compl. ¶ 19(c), and that his employer ‘does not want a black person giving orders to lower ranking officers,’ id. ¶ 21. And it is alleged that Lavalais’s ‘duties are so severely restricted, it is as if he is not a sergeant.’ Although the complaint does not provide a lot of factual detail, given the uncomplicated nature of Lavalais’s race discrimination claim, the allegations are sufficient to plead that the denial of a transfer from the midnight shift as well as Lavalais’s treatment on that shift are materially adverse employment actions.”
Affirmed in part, and Vacated in part.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Gettleman, J., Tinder, J.