Boutros v. Avis Rent A Car Sys., LLC, No. 14-1511 (7th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Boutros worked for Avis Rent A Car as a courtesy bus driver at O’Hare Airport. He had worked for Avis before a short stint in the military. After he was honorably discharged for unsatisfactory performance, Avis did not want to rehire him, but did so. One night in May 2008, Boutros informed his supervisor that the fire extinguisher on his bus inexplicably discharged, spraying fire retardant near the driver’s seat. He reported no injury at the time, but the next morning he claimed that chemicals from the discharge had harmed him. Avis launched an investigation and eventually fired Boutros for dishonesty and insubordination in connection with his shifting accounts of the fire-extinguisher accident. Boutros sued, claiming that Avis fired him because of his race and subjected him to a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, and retaliated against him for exercising his rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. 4301. A jury rejected his claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, agreeing that the appeal was frivolous and issuing an order to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed under Rule 38 of the Federal Rules.