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Unformatted text preview: .2d 845, 848 (7th Cir. 1992).
Flores invites us to adopt the reasoning of a recent Sixth Circuit decision that requires an
employer to show that its "honest belief" is reasonably supported by "particularized
facts." See Smith v. Chrysler Corp., 155 F.3d 799, 806 (6th Cir. 1998). Flores gives no
particular reason for the change except that she doesn't like our current rule. We refuse
her invitation. We do note, however, that a determination of whether a belief is honest is
often conflated with analysis of reasonableness. After all, the more objectively reasonable
a belief is, the more likely it will seem that thebelief was honestly held.
And even if we were to adopt explicitly the Sixth Circuit approach, the record here is
replete with particularized facts to reasonably support PTG's belief that Flores was the
captain of the protestors' putsch. According to Flores' ownaccount, she was the loudest of
the coffee room carbonari, and she took it upon herself to make sure that her supervisor
(Jones) got all the names on the list correct. Flores was also one of the first to arrive in
the break room and [**12] one of the last to leave. Finally, she waved to the second
group of workers who came to join the donnybrook. Flores claims that it was
unreasonable for Jones to draw conclusions from her loud behavior because she was
always loud and boisterous as a matter of course. This fact can cut both ways, however.
A person in Jones' position could very easily assume that the historically loudest, most
boisterous worker would also be the most likely to foment insurrection. As for Flores'
waving, it was reasonable for Jones to guess that she was exhorting more workers to join
the row. Maybe he was wrong; maybe Flores was merely a sheep and joined an meute
organized by someone else. But there were plenty of facts from which Jones could and
did believe that Flores was the grand vizier of the movement.
Finally, Flores tries to show pretext by presenting "facts tending to show that the
employer's reasons for some negative job action are false, thereby implying (if not
actually showing) that the real reason is illegal discrimination." See Kariotis at 677. The
facts that Flores present...
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- Spring '08