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Eleventh Circuit Recognizes Pattern of Workplace Discrimination for Discrimination Claims

Barthelus v. G4S Government Solutions, Inc. ___ F. 3d ___ (11th Cir. May 27, 2014)

Barthelus v. G4S Government Solutions, Inc. involved a former employee’s claims of discrimination and retaliation, brought pro se by former employee, Barthelus, who is black Haitian, against his former employer, G4S. In the lawsuit, Barthelus claimed he was discriminated against because of his national origin when he was denied a promotion in 2005 because of his Haitian accent, denied amendment of a poor performance review, denied a pay increase, and denied extra days off during holiday. At issue in the lawsuit was whether Barthelus’ employment was terminated for a legitimate non-discriminatory reason by the employer. G4S asserted that the termination was for performance deficiencies, and provided evaluations from 1999 through Barthelus’ termination in support. While the district court agreed with the employer and found in their favor, on appeal, the 11th Circuit disagreed. The 11th Circuit held the district court failed to account for a pattern of workplace discrimination based on race and national origin, and that material issues of fact were present regarding pretext – including the fact that an independent audit of Barthelus’ work showed the negative performance reviews may have been misplaced. The case was remanded on these counts.

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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