MSU prof cannot pursue race discrimination claim
Anthony Ross sued MSU in federal court, arguing that he was the victim of a hostile working environment, that he had been retaliated against for raising the issue of discrimination, and that he had been denied promotion as a result of his supervisor's racial discrimination. The District Court dismissed his claim and the Sixth Circuit upheld this outcome.
Even though Ross alleged that his Department head had passed him over for promotion, and offered, on two occasions, the explanation that he was only "retained because he was black," the Court did not find sufficient timely evidence of discrimination to allow Ross to pursue his claim. The Court held that to prevail, Ross needed to show that similarly situated white candidates with equivalent qualifications were granted full professor status during the same time period. It also held that Ross' attorneys had waived the argument that he suffered an adverse employment impact because of "diminished options for advancement" resulting from racial discrimination.
The Court also held that Ross could not pursue a constructive discharge claim resulting from his resignation from the position of Director of Logistics Doctoral Program, because his pay and seniority were not affected by giving up that designation.