Alkhawaldeh v. Dow Chemical Co., No. 16-20069 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against his employer, Dow, alleging discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. The district court granted summary judgment for Dow. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to produce any evidence that he was treated less favorably than others similarly situated outside of his protected class, and thus his Title VII discrimination claim failed as a matter of law. In regard to the retaliation claim, the court concluded that no reasonable fact finder could conclude that plaintiff would not have been fired but for his decision to engage in activity protected by Title VII. The court explained that poor performance was not an activity protected by Title VII and, even assuming that plaintiff completed the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), his negative, post-PIP evaluation independently justified plaintiff's termination. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.