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Jury Rejects Race Discrimination, Wrongful Constructive Termination Claims

A former truck mechanic sued our client Ryder Truck Rental, Inc. in California state court alleging racial harassment, race discrimination, failure to prevent harassment and discrimination, retaliation, constructive discharge in violation of public policy and assault and battery. The plaintiff, who was African-American, claimed that the company’s failure to take appropriate corrective action against two Caucasian employees who allegedly made racially offensive remarks created a hostile work environment. He also claimed that, after he complained about the offensive conduct and filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, the company retaliated against him by denying without good reason his request to transfer to a different work location. Shortly after eventually transferring to another site, the plaintiff was involved in a physical altercation with a Caucasian fellow mechanic, and he claimed this amounted to assault and battery. The plaintiff went on leave and then resigned. 

After a seven day trial the jury rejected all seven of the plaintiff’s claims. The evidence established that our client’s response to the harassment complaints was prompt and effective to stop the conduct. In addition, the jury found that the plaintiff did not suffer any adverse employment actions and that he was not exposed to working conditions that violated public policy. Finally, the jury rejected the claims of assault and battery.


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