Davis v. Fort Bend Cnty., No. 13-20610 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Fort Bend hired Davis in 2007 as a Desktop Support Supervisor for 15 information technology technicians. Cook was the IT Director, and in 2009, hired his friend and fellow church member, Ford, as Davis’s supervisor. In 2010, Davis complained to human resources that Cook subjected her to constant sexual harassment and assaults. Fort Bend placed Davis on Family Medical Leave Act leave during its investigation, which substantiated the allegations and led to Cook’s resignation. According to Davis, Ford immediately began retaliating when she returned to work. She alleged that Ford “effectively” demoted her by reducing the number of her direct reports to four; removed her from projects she had previously managed; superseded her authority; removed her administrative rights from the computer server; and assigned her tasks that similarly situated employees were not required to perform. When a special installation was scheduled for the weekend of July 4, 2011, all employees were required to be present. On June 28, Davis informed Ford that she would not be available on the morning of Sunday July 3, “due to a previous religious commitment.” Davis claimed that she had arranged for a replacement. After Davis attended her church event and did not report to work, Fort Bend terminated her employment. Davis filed suit, alleging retaliation and religious discrimination under Title VII, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district court dismissed. The Fifth Circuit affirmed in part. Summary judgment was proper as to the retaliation claim, but not as to the religious discrimination claim.