Race, pregnancy and gender discrimination claim against Ford Motor is summarily dismissed
Laura Douglas sued Ford Motor, claiming that she endured ongoing racial, pregnancy and gender discrimination, and a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, she drew Henry Saad on Ford's appeal to the Court of Appeals. The Court characterized her claims as "vague assertions and suppositions" that do not establish a case for race discrimination. Since she could not cite "any use of language that would imply [the complained-of incidents] involved race," the lower court judge's failure to summarily dismiss her claim was over-ruled. The "you people" statement she objected to was deemed "not [necessarily] racial in nature." In any event, she didn't allege discrimination that was "so severe or pervasive that it substantially interfere[d] [sic]" with her work.
The Court also faulted Douglas's proof regarding whether Ford properly addressed the inappropriate behavior. In addressing the pregnancy discrimination claim, the Court held that Douglas didn't adequately demonstrate that her continued assignment as a production supervisor was inappropriate. The Appellate Court also deemed the lower court mistaken with regard to the adequacy of Douglas's proof of "direct" gender discrimination. Finally, with regard to the hostile work environment, the Court held. again, that the plaintiff's proofs were not adequate to put the question before a jury.
The higher court judges also made short work of dismissing retaliation and disparate pay claims, without the constitutional right to a jury trial. Based on the appellate judges' analysis of the sufficiency of the proofs, the lower court judge was over-turned and all of Douglas's claims were dismissed.