Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Case Digests / Employment – race discrimination

Employment – race discrimination

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit


Employment – race discrimination

Even if an employer considered race in making a promotion, the employer is entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ race discrimination claim, where they cannot show that either of them would have received the promotion absent the consideration of race.

“Under the direct method, the case at hand is trickier than Bass, where the plaintiff “presented no—literally no—evidence that her firing was for a prohibited reason.” Id. Here, there is evidence that White’s promotion was based on the prohibited consideration of his race. Evidence, too, that Murray’s sudden change of fortunes was due to Murray’s race—Jones admitted as much. But we are skeptical that the evidence that White was promoted based on his race, or the fact that Murray did not receive the promotion based on his, could be used by a reasonable jury in service of the conclusion that Garofalo and Peers were not promoted because of their race. There is no specific evidence, as it relates to Garofalo or Peers, “that would allow a trier of fact to find that [race] discrimination lay behind” the Village’s decision not to promote the Plaintiff-Appellants. Id. As pertains to the two Plaintiff-Appellants, “the record contains neither explicit declarations of a discriminatory motive nor sufficient circumstantial evidence for a rational jury to infer discrimination.” See Zayas v. Rockford Mem’l Hosp., 740 F.3d 1154, 1157 (7th Cir. 2014). Plaintiff-Appellants argue that they have presented evidence of Murray’s shortcomings, and that they have established that his chance at the promotion, absent Jones’s impermissible considerations of race, was not a sure thing. But that is negative evidence that may lead a juror to conclude that Murray would not have gotten the promotion. Even construing that evidence in the light most favorable to Garofalo and Peers, there is no affirmative evidence on which a reasonable juror could—absent speculation or conjecture—decide that Garofalo or Peers would have received the promotion absent the impermissible consideration of race.”


12-1668 & 12-1681 Garofalo v. Village of Hazel Crest

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Hart, J., Tinder, J.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *