Scarborough v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-1918 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the employer in an action brought by plaintiff, alleging that the employer retaliated against him in violation of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA). The court applied the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework and concluded that, even assuming plaintiff made a prima facie case of retaliation, the employer offered legitimate, non-discriminatory grounds for the adverse employment action. In this case, the employer offered several reasons for demoting and terminating plaintiff: among other things, plaintiff knew of and approved prohibited invoice practices, encouraged another person to do the same, lied about both, and engaged in unethical practices. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to show that the employers' reasons for his termination were pretextual.