Ramirez v. T&H Lemont, Inc., No. 16-1753 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Ramirez, born in Mexico, alleges that his former employer, T&H, subjected him to discriminatory working conditions and a hostile work environment based on his national original and fired him in retaliation for reporting the harassment, in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. Nearly three years into discovery, Ramirez had not located any witnesses to corroborate his allegations. His attorney was seeking leave to withdraw. Ramirez then located three former T&H co-workers, willing to testify on his behalf. The witnesses, Hernandez, Velasquez, and Villagrana were serially deposed; all three testified that they had witnessed a supervisor refer to Ramirez as a burro. Three months later, Villagrana sent a text to Ramirez’s counsel asking for a letter “saying what percent I will receive when the case is settled.” Ramirez’s counsel reported the text to defense counsel. Villagrana also contacted a T&H employee, stating that he and the others were no longer supporting Ramirez and that he was willing to testify for T&H if he could get his job back. After hearing testimony, the district court dismissed the case with prejudice, finding “clear and convincing evidence of witness tampering.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the finding was supported by sufficient evidence and that the sanction was reasonable.