Scott v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n, No. 21-10031 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, the Bank, alleging that the Bank violated 42 U.S.C. 1981 by taking retaliatory employment actions against him because he opposed racial discrimination occurring within his department.
The Fifth Circuit concluded that the district court did not err in denying defendant leave to amend his complaint where he failed to offer any grounds as to why his leave should be granted or how deficiencies in his complaint could be corrected. However, the court concluded that the district court erred in finding that plaintiff failed to state a claim under section 1981 when it concluded that he did not engage in a protected activity. Construing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court concluded that plaintiff has successfully pleaded facts that could support a reasonable belief. In this case, plaintiff alleged that he overheard a supervisor state that "he intended to terminate four (4) African American employees." The court explained that a supervisor's considering of the race of an employee when deciding to terminate that employee is an unlawful employment practice. Furthermore, after plaintiff gave a statement to a human resources investigator, he alleges that the company began to retaliate against him by denying his loans, giving him multiple warnings, sending him to unnecessary training, and ultimately terminating him. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on November 26, 2021.