The district court allowed such evidence to go to the

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Unformatted text preview: motivate the termination, or (3) the proffered reason was not sufficient to motivate the discharge. See Manzer v. Diamond Shamrock Chem., 29 F.3d 1078, 1084 (6th Cir. 1994). In this case, Smith does not dispute that he made the threatening remark under the first prong of the Manzer test or the fact that such [*34] a remark, under certain circumstances, would be a sufficient nondiscriminatory reason for firing someone under the third Manzer prong. However, under the third prong, there is a real dispute as to whether Smith's threat was directed toward any employee of the company or whether anyone at the plant took Smith's threat seriously. Moreover, there is no explanation as to why there was no direct law enforcement the day after the threat was made or why the employer waited until Monday to fire Smith. These are disputed issues, which in my opinion, are questions of fact for a jury, not the court, to decide. Under the second prong of the Manzer test, Smith seeks to show that "the sheer weight of the circumstantial evidence of discrimination makes it more likely than not that the employer's explanation is pretext." Id. at 1084. Smith produces evidence of racism and unequal treatment over a twenty year period to show that a racially hostile work environment existed at the plant. The district court allowed such evidence to go to a jury so that the jury could decide whether Smith was fired because of the threat or discriminatory reasons. The majority incorrectly [*35] dismisses this evidence on the grounds that none of the racial comments were made by the persons who terminated Smith and most of the comments were made long before Smith's termination. Again, it is important to reiterate this Court's language in Ercegovich that evidence of a corporate state of mind or discriminatory atmosphere is not rendered irrelevant by its failure to coincide precisely with the particular actors or time-frame involved in the specific events that generated a claim of discriminatory treatment. Ercegovich, at 354-55. Thus, although discriminatory statements by a non-decision maker, standing alone, generally do not 110 support an inference of discrimination, such statements are not categorically excluded. See id. Finally, the majority writes that the evidence...
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