South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Applicant Denied Promotion Failed to Show He Was as Qualified as Employees Selected
Description Appeals court upheld the dismissal of a suit for age and race discrimination because the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case for discrimination. The two employees selected for promotion had more relevant experience for the positions, and there was no evidence that race or age was a factor.
Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words Prima Facie Case; Age Discrimination; Race Discrimination; Promotion
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Grayson, a 50-year-old African American, had worked for the City of Chicago for ten years as a carpenter and held the rank of Sub-foreman of Carpenters. When the positions of General Foremen of General Trades and General Foreman of Carpenters were advertised, Grayson applied. Younger white males, who had held the titles of Acting General Foreman for some time, were appointed to the positions. Grayson sued for age and race discrimination. The district court dismissed his suit for failure to present a prima facie case. Grayson appealed.

Affirmed. Grayson presented no evidence that race or age was a factor in the decision. Rather, the primary criterion was “quality and relevance of previous job experience.” The men appointed to the positions had been acting general foremen for some time. Therefore, they had more relevant job experience than Grayson. Grayson was not similarly situated as the successful candidates for promotion and so failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination.

Citation Grayson v. City of Chicago, 317 F.3d 745 (7th Cir., 2003)

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