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Employment — race discrimination

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Employment — race discrimination

Where an employee claiming race discrimination could not identify any similarly situated employees who were treated differently, summary judgment was properly granted to the employer on his claim.

“Mr. Hanners submits a list of other ISP employees who had been disciplined by the ISP. He contends that a comparison between himself and the eighteen listed individuals demonstrates that other employees received less severe punishment despite engaging in misconduct that Mr. Hanners believes to be similar to or worse than his own. However, Mr. Hanners has failed to provide evidence that any of the listed individuals are non-Caucasian. Nor does Mr. Hanners provide any evidence that non-Caucasians had sent emails containing similar content on the ISP computer system and had received less severe punishment. We therefore conclude that he has failed to demonstrate that individuals outside the protected class received systematically better disciplinary treatment. Absent such circumstantial evidence, Mr. Hanners’s assertion that he would not have been suspended for thirty days had he been an African American amounts to mere speculation, which this court consistently has held is insufficient to avoid summary judgment. See, e.g., Karazanos v. Navistar Int’l Transp. Corp., 948 F.2d 332, 337 (7th Cir. 1991).”


11-1754 Hanners v. Trent

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McCuskey, J., Feinerman, J.

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