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Home / Opinion / 10-1846 Loudermilk v. Best Pallet Co., LLC

10-1846 Loudermilk v. Best Pallet Co., LLC

Employment
Retaliation

Where an employee was fired after submitting a note complaining about racial discrimination, summary judgment was improperly granted to his employer on his retaliation claim.

“Best Pallet insists that Lyons did not read the note before firing Loudermilk, but Lyons himself says that he did read it (though Lyons maintains that Loudermilk delivered the note some days before being fired). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the party opposing the motion gets the benefit of all facts that a reasonable jury might find. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). A jury would be entitled to believe that Lyons read the note. Indeed, a jury would be entitled to find that Lyons knew the content of the note whether he read it or not. Only the day before, Loudermilk had made an oral complaint about racial discrimination, and Lyons had told him to ‘[p]ut it in writing.’ What did Lyons think was in the note he received the next day? An invitation to a birthday party?”

Reversed and Remanded.

10-1846 Loudermilk v. Best Pallet Co., LLC

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Reinhard, J., Easterbrook, J.

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