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Unformatted text preview: s. PTG could not fire all the insurgents without disrupting its
operations and was well within its rights to make an example of the person they
perceived was the Spartacus of the coffee room revolt.
Flores contends that her "loud, boisterous" behavior during the break room imbroglio is
not a rational reason to label her [*516] the coryphaeus or to treat her differently than
non-Hispanic rebels. Courts have occasionally found an employer's articulation of a
reason insufficient when the reason is irrational on its face. See, e.g., Loyd v. Phillips
Bros., 25 F.3d 518, 524 (7th Cir. 1994) (long-standing policy of considering only
members of male-dominated branch of company for promotion where members [**10]
of female-dominated branch were equally qualified was not a legitimate
nondiscriminatory reason); EEOC v. Northwest Structural Components, 822 F. Supp.
1218, 1221 (M.D.N.C. 1993) (articulated reason that the employee was a "complainer"
insufficient where the only specific evidence of complaining were her concerns about
disparate treatment because she was a woman). PTG's reasons do not approach this level
of irrationality. The company's belief that Flores was the catalyst for the coffee room
rumble is a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for firing her.
Flores' final chance to preserve her claim is to show that PTG's belief that she was the
architect of the coffee room coup is a mere pretext for an underlying discriminatory
reason for firing her. This court has consistently held that the employer only needs to
supply an honest reason, not necessarily a reasonable one. "In other words, arguing about
the accuracy of the employer's assessment is a distraction . . . because the question is not
whether the employer's reasons for a decision are 'right but whether the employer's
description of its reasons is honest.'" See Kariotis v. Navistar Int'l Transp. Corp., 131 144 F.3d [**11] 672, 677 (7th Cir. 1997), quoting Gustovich v. AT&T Communications,
Inc, 972 F...
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- Spring '08