Court upholds judgment arising out of white male's discrimination claim against National Heritage Academies
After he was terminated as a teacher, the plaintiff brought a discrimination claim against his for-profit charter school employer in Hecht v. National Heritage Academies. He alleged that his firing was discriminatory because blacks had made racially-oriented comments similar to those for which he was fired, without incurring similar discipline. Because the school administrators acknowledged that all persons using the "n-" word should have been disciplined, without regard to the speaker's race, and since the Plaintiff was the only person disciplined for this type of racial "banter" [his characterization], the Court allowed the judgment to stand.
The Court also ruled that the trial judge did not err in allowing into evidence the fact that the plaintiff was unable to secure a teaching job after his firing, in part because the defendant informed prospective employers that he was terminated for "unprofessional conduct." It concluded that the judgment for $485,000 dollars in lost future income was within the range of reasonable outcomes.