Court Rules Employee Has Evidence to Support Retaliation Claim

June 13, 2006 ( - The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who had filed a complaint for race and sex discrimination against his company, had evidence of retaliation because the company suspended him without pay for falsifying his resume while not suspending another employee for the same violation.

According to the court opinion, Stanford McClure, an employee of Vinnell Corporation which was later taken over by Career Systems Development (CSD) Corporation, sued the companies in state court in October 2004, claiming race and sex discrimination over three jobs that were open for application in 2003 and 2004. During a deposition in February 2005 he admitted that he had falsely reported on his resume that he had a bachelor’s degree, but said that CSD had been aware that he did not actually have the degree since taking over for Vinnell.

According to court records, CSD suspended McClure without pay in March 2005 for false representation. Lisa Walkley, who had been hired to one of the positions in 2003, also admitted in a deposition that she had falsified her resume, stating that she had a bachelor’s degree. Instead of suspending Walkley, CSD told her in April 2005 that she could submit a corrected resume by the next week. The same day, CSD notified McClure and told him that he could return to work – with back pay for the month he was suspended – if he gave the company a corrected resume.

McClure submitted a corrected resume, was reinstated and added a claim of retaliation to his complaint.

A lower court had granted summary judgment to CSD and Vinnell on the retaliation claim, noting that the suspension did not occur until five months after the charges of discrimination were filed. However, the appellate court overturned this decision, saying there was evidence of retaliation. The appellate court determined that the fact that McClure was suspended, while Walkley was not, when CSD knew of McClure’s falsification beforehand, raised questions as to CSD’s intent.  

The decision in McClure, Jr. v. Career Systems Development Corporation is here .