Conservative Court of Appeals panel reverses lower court; dismisses discrimination claim against City of Dearborn
Stephanie Ford claimed that she was discharged from her human resources job with the City as a result of racial discrimination and retaliation. She worked for the City from 1993 until 2005 and was promoted from library page to a clerical position and H.R. department associate. Thirteen months into that job, the City fired her, claiming she was fired for "deceptive" behavior. If one takes the time to read the account of Ford's termination in the opinion, it appears fairly clear that she endured a "hostile work environment." Now, she may have created that environment, herself, and it may not have resulted from prejudice: that is what juries are impanelled to decide. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals overturned the trial judge's decision that the case should go to the jury for determination and Ford's claim was dismissed.Ford's claims of disparate treatment, including for example her observation that a co-worker was late more than 40 times without discipline, were not considered because she did not provide corroboration. In the context of the history of blatant racial discrimination in Dearborn, it would appear that Ford's allegations warranted a fair and thorough hearing.