Discrimination and retaliation claim dismissed where court finds no "protected activity."
Linda Pearce was a long-time Radioshack employee and a store manager. She alleged that she was illegally terminated after a new Regional Manager told her that she "needed a stronger male presence" in her store and insisted that she only interview male applicants.
The Defendants pointed to inadequacies in Pearce's performance and claimed that her termination was unrelated to any dispute over gender. The trial court refused to dismiss her claim and Radioshack appealed. The appellate court ruled that since Pearce did not object to the instruction to interview and hire male employees, and in fact acquiesced in the policy, she had not demonstrated that she was terminated for "protected activity."Judge Christopher Murray, a judge who rarely votes in favor of insureds, victims, or employees, wrote separately to state his interpretation that Pearce was also mistaken in arguing that she should be able to pursue a claim under federal law if the Defendants terminated her with a "mixed motive" that was partially based on illegal grounds. Normally, Judges and judicial opinions do not go beyond the facts and law necessary to achieve a decision; apparently Judge Murray just wanted to "send a message."