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Unformatted text preview: of racism Smith produced in this case
should not have reached a jury because such evidence added an "emotional element" as a
basis for the verdict. Being that this is a race discrimination case brought under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act and given that the crux of Smith's case depends upon the
production of evidence showing that he was fired for racial reasons, it is inconceivable
[*36] to me that the majority would argue that evidence of racism at the plant should
have been excluded for its alleged "emotional" impact on the jury. The district court
allowed such evidence to go to the jury because it was both critical and relevant to
Smith's claims. Thus, in my view, the district court did not commit reversible error in
admitting the evidence.
In sum, I believe that the district court did not err when it allowed evidence of racial
remarks and conduct by supervisors and employees toward Smith and other AfricanAmerican employees at Adcom to go to the jury. Under the "totality of the
circumstances" approach set forth in Harris, the frequency and severity of the
discriminatory behavior among supervisors and employees were indicative of the racially
hostile work environment at Adcom over an extended period of time. On one occasion,
Smith was shown a lewd and racist cartoon by his supervisor that depicted AfricanAmericans in a humiliating light. On other occasions, Smith was called a "nigger" by a
fellow white employee - an employee who merely received a verbal reprimand for the
remark by Smith's supervisor - and was present while a racially offensive [*37] joke
was being told by a supervisor. According to Smith and other fellow employees, the use
of the "N" word was commonplace at the plant and Smith was often present when the
term was used. Such remarks constitute more than "mere offensive utterances" and are
indicative of the racially hostile atmosphere at Adcom. Moreover, Smith, in my opinion,
satisfied his evidentiary burden for a reasonable jury to find that the employer's
explanation for firing him was pretext under the second and third prongs of the Manzer
Accordingly, I respectfully dissent. 111 112 113 114 115 116 Case # 15 RUSS...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08