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Federal Court holds that administrative proceeding bars employee's civil rights claim

Gillermo Herrera sued his former employer, Churchill McGee, arguing that they discriminated against him and retaliated when he made a civil rights claim.  The District Court judge heard evidence that a Human Rights Commission administrative decision had been rendered against Hererra and on that basis dismissed his lawsuit. The higher court allowed to stand the District Judge's decision to simply "rubber stamp" the discrimination claim, but it reinstated Herrera's retaliation claim. The Court of Appeals pointed out that Herrera's argument that the employer retaliated against him after he filed the civil rights claim had not been heard in the administrative proceeding.  Under Kentucky State law, an unsuccessful administrative claim bars a subsequent civil action, and the Court held that a similar result obtains under Federal law, if all elements of the action are actually heard.

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