Cal State Northridge Gaskell V University Of Kentucky Case Brief Please have this case I’m attaching briefed it case about employment law called Gaskell. b

Cal State Northridge Gaskell V University Of Kentucky Case Brief Please have this case I’m attaching briefed it case about employment law called Gaskell. bookshelf.vitalsource.com
gaskell berry johnson v. fluor – Google Search
eTextbooks | Rent or Buy Online Textbooks | VitalSource
VitalSource Bookshelf: Business Law II, Langvardt et al. 17th ed.
+
Gaskell v. University of Kentucky
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124572 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 23, 2010)
< !!! ♡ C In 2007, the University of Kentucky (UK) commenced a search for the founding director of its new astronomical observatory. Martin Gaskell applied for the position and, initially, was regarded by the Search Committee as the leading candidate. He was far more qualified and experienced than any of the other applicants. At the time of his application, Gaskell worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), where he had secured funding for, had overseen the design and construction of, and eventually ran the student observatory. The Search Committee conducted an initial round of phone interviews with Gaskell and several other candidates. Following the phone interviews, the committee ranked Gaskell first among the candidates. Gaskell’s candidacy hit some snags, though. When Michael Cavagnero, the Chair of the Department of Physics & As- tronomy and a member of the Search Committee, contacted Gaskell’s supervisor at UNL, he learned that Gaskell had caused some conflict at UNL because he was sometimes obstinate. In addition, members of the Search Committee discovered articles, lecture notes, and public statements by Gaskell revolving around the theme of “Modern Astronomy, the Bible, and Creation.” These raised concerns that Gaskell was a “creationist.” Several Search Committee members perceived that Gaskell blended religious thought with scientific theory, which they believed would adversely affect his ability to perform the outreach functions of the job. Cavagnero again contacted Gaskell’s supervisor at UNL and asked him whether Gaskell’s personal religious beliefs had interfered with his duties in the classroom and in the community at UNL. According to the supervisor, a handful of students had mentioned in their teacher evaluations that it was refreshing to have a professor who believed in God, but that otherwise, Gaskell's views on religion had not interfered with his work. Cavagnero also asked some of his colleagues to read Gaskell’s work to determine if it was “good science.” Notably, members of the UK Biology Department participated in this review and determined that Gaskell’s writing included scientific 306 口 6 Aa Aa » bookshelf.vitalsource.com gaskell berry johnson v. fluor - Google Search eTextbooks | Rent or Buy Online Textbooks | VitalSource VitalSource Bookshelf: Business Law II, Langvardt et al. 17th ed. © !!! statements about evolution that showed a fundamental lack of appreciation for the scientific method and for well-established scientific principles. The biologists ultimately told Cavagnero that they would not work with one of these types of individuals” if he was hired to direct the observatory. UK ultimately hired Timothy Knauer, a former student and employee of UK's Department of Physics and Astronomy. Although UK concedes that Gaskell had more education and experience, it contends that it hired Knauer because he demon- strated more of the qualities that UK wanted in its Observatory Director. Gaskell sued UK claiming that he was not hired because of his religion in violation of Title VII. Both parties moved for sum- mary judgment Q C Forester, Senior Judge Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that “[i]t shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer ... to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employ- ment, because of such individual's... religion.” The term “religion” is defined to include “all aspects of religious observance and prac- tice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee's ... religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.” As in any other discriminatory discharge or refusal to hire case, the plaintiff can establish that he was discharged or not hired on the basis of his religion through direct or indirect means. Direct evidence is evidence which, if believed, “requires the conclusion that unlaw- ful discrimination was at least a motivating factor in the employer's actions.” Direct evidence “does not require the factfinder to draw any inferences in order to conclude that the challenged employment action was motivated at least in part by preiudice against members burden, then the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evi- dence that the legitimate reasons offered were not true reasons but were a pretext for discrimination. UK argues that it hired a different candidate for the Observa- tory Director for reasons that have nothing to do with Gaskell's religion. Because Gaskell has failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that UK's reasons were a pretext for discrimina- tion, UK contends that, based on McDonnell Douglas analysis, Gaskell's claims must be dismissed. Although UK argues that the McDonnell Douglas framework applies to this case, Gaskell contends that he has presented direct ev- idence of discrimination. The record contains substantial evidence that Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position until the issue of his religion (as Gaskell calls it) or his scientific position (as UK calls it) became an issue. Specifically, he points to the e-mail writ- ten by [Professor Thomas] Troland, the Search Committee Chair, to Cavagnero just days prior to the Search Committee's vote to rec- ommend Knauer for the position and thereby reject Gaskell. The e-mail, with the subject line “The Gaskell Affair,” states: 6 Aa » 307 口 A bookshelf.vitalsource.com + © !!! Q C gaskell berry johnson v. fluor - Google Search eTextbooks | Rent or Buy Online Textbooks | VitalSource VitalSource Bookshelf: Business Law II, Langvardt et al. 17th ed. any inferences in order to conclude that the challenged employment ommend Knauer for the position and thereby reject Gaskell. The action was motivated at least in part by prejudice against members e-mail, with the subject line “The Gaskell Affair,” states: of the protected group.” Evidence which in and of itself suggests It has become clear to me that there is virtually no way Gas- that the person or persons with the power to hire, fire, promote, or kell will be offered the job despite his qualifications that demote the plaintiff were animated by an illegal employment crite- stand far above those of any other applicant. Other reasons rion amounts to direct proof of discrimination. Remarks to the ef- will be given for this choice when we meet Tuesday. In the fect that “I won't hire you because you're a woman,” or “I'm firing end, however, the real reason why we will not offer him the you because you're not a Christian,” are obvious examples of direct job is because of his religious beliefs in matters that are un- evidence of discrimination. However, other, less obvious remarks, related to astronomy or to any of the duties specified for this have been found to be direct evidence of discrimination. Remarks position. (For example, the job does not involve outreach in and other evidence that reflect a propensity by the decisionmaker to biology.) ... If Martin were not so superbly qualified, so evaluate employees based on illegal criteria can suffice as direct evi- breathtakingly above the other applicants in background and dence of discrimination even if the evidence stops short of a virtual experience, then our decision would be much simpler. We could easily choose another applicant, and we could content admission of illegality. Proof of this nature supports the inference ourselves with the idea that Martin's religious beliefs played that a statutorily prescribed factor such as religion was at least a little role in our decision. However, this is not the case. As it motivating factor in the adverse employment action at issue. is, no objective observer could possibly believe that we ex- If there is no direct evidence of discrimination, then courts rely cluded Martin on any basis other than religious.... on the framework established in the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). Under this frame- Certainly, Troland, who was chair of the Search Committee, work, the plaintiff carries the burden of proving by a preponderance participated in the interviews of the candidates, discussions of of the evidence a prima facie case of discrimination. If the plaintiff the committee, [and] e-mail exchanges involving the process is able to prove a prima facie case, then the burden shifts to the played an obvious and important role in the decisionmaking defendant “to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason process. As he explained to Patty Bender, the University Equal for the employee's rejection.” If the defendant is able to carry this Employment Officer who investigated [a] complaint of religious 307 6 Aa » bookshelf.vitalsource.com gaskell berry johnson v. fluor - Google Search eTextbooks | Rent or Buy Online Textbooks | VitalSource VitalSource Bookshelf: Business Law II, Langvardt et al. 17th ed. + O jij e discrimination submitted by [another member of the Search Committee]: I was part of the entire process that led to this decision. I know what observatory committee members said in meet- ings and privately, not just their e-mail comments. I know that the university (not your office!) chose an applicant with almost no relevant experience over one with immense expe- rience in virtually every aspect of the observatory director's duties. And I know that this choice was made (to a significant extent) on grounds that have nothing to do with the job as advertised nor with the job as envisioned by our department. C His comments, if true, are direct evidence of religious discrimination. Additional direct evidence of religious discrimination can be found in the deposition of Cavagnero, who stated that the de- bate generated by Gaskell's website and his religious beliefs, was an “element” in the decision not to hire Gaskell. Also, [another professor) testified in his deposition that Gaskell’s “views of re- ligious things in relation to reconciling what is known scientifi- cally about how the world developed and what is represented in the Bible” was “a factor” in his decision not to support Gaskell. [Yet another] committee member stated in his deposition that religion was an “underlying theme in everything we discussed." Gaskell points to other evidence that suggests a propensity by the Search Committee to evaluate employees based on illegal cri- teria, including an e-mail by a Search Committee member stating: “Clearly this man is complex and likely fascinating to talk with- but potentially evangelical.” That same member also said, "If the job ผ sex, or national origin was a motivating factor for any employ- ment practice, even though other factors also motivated the prac- tice. [T]he purpose and effect of this section was to eliminate the employer's ability to escape liability in mixed-motives cases by proving that it would have made the same decision in the ab- sence of the discriminatory motivation.” As the Sixth Circuit has stated, “in mixed-motive cases, a plaintiff can win simply by showing that the defendant's consideration of a protected char- acteristic ‘was a motivating factor for any employment practice, even though other factors also motivated the practice.”” The McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework does not apply to mixed-motive claims. ... [T]o survive a defendant's motion for summary judgment, a Title VII plaintiff asserting a mixed- motive claim need only produce evidence sufficient to convince a jury that: (1) the defendant took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff; and (2) “race, color, religion, sex, or na- tional origin was a motivating factor” for the defendant's adverse employment action. There is no dispute that UK's decision not to hire Gaskell was an adverse employment action. The issue, then, is whether Gas- kell’s religion was “a motivating factor.” As set out above, Gas- kell has presented direct and other evidence which, if believed, establishes that his religion was a factor in UK's employment de- cision. However, UK has also come forward with other evidence that religion was not a motivating factor in its decision to hire Knauer. UK notes that the only question that was asked of Gas- kell regarding his statement on evolution was posed by Cavag- nero who was concerned that Gaskell would violate UK policy 308 6 Aa » bookshelf.vitalsource.com + o jij E C gaskell berry johnson v. fluor - Google Search eTextbooks | Rent or Buy Online Textbooks | VitalSource VitalSource Bookshelf: Business Law II, Langvardt et al. 17th ed. AUTI nu pismu umvut unu vuc viucn WINNI, II Vivou, [Yet another] committee member stated in his deposition that establishes that his religion was a factor in UK's employment de- religion was an “underlying theme in everything we discussed.” cision. However, UK has also come forward with other evidence Gaskell points to other evidence that suggests a propensity by that religion was not a motivating factor in its decision to hire the Search Committee to evaluate employees based on illegal cri- teria, including an e-mail by a Search Committee member stating: Knauer. UK notes that the only question that was asked of Gas- “Clearly this man is complex and likely fascinating to talk with- kell regarding his statement on evolution was posed by Cavag- but potentially evangelical.” That same member also said, “If the job nero who was concerned that Gaskell would violate UK policy were solely about physics and astronomy and within the university I by representing his own opinion as that of the University should he link his university webpage to his personal webpage contain- would strongly agree with you that Martin's beliefs on biology and religion don't matter a hoot and should not figure in the discussion ing religious material. UK contends that the Search Committee at all.” The negative implication is clear: because the job was not did not act improperly when it considered Gaskell’s comments about evolution because Gaskell made those comments public solely about physics and astronomy within the university, Gaskell's beliefs on biology and religion do matter. not only during his 1997 lecture at UK, but also by posting his Gaskell’s allegations, when considered together and taken as lecture notes on his webpage. UK also contends that it did not true, raise a triable issue of fact as to whether his religious beliefs consider Gaskell’s religious beliefs, only his public comments were a substantial motivating factor in UK's decision not to hire that there were scientific problems with the theory of evolution. him. With the direct evidence of religious discrimination pres- According to UK, the Search Committee was concerned that these publicly expressed views would impair Gaskell's ability to ent in this case, it is not necessary for the Court to engage in the serve effectively as Observatory Director. McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework. UK's motivation for its decision not to hire Gaskell is very fact intensive and difficult to determine at the summary judgment stage. Accordingly, based on Gaskell's presentation of direct evi- Because UK has come forward with more than a scintilla of evi- dence of discrimination, UK's motion for summary judgment dence to support its argument that religion was not a motivating fac- will be denied. The Court now turns to Gaskell’s motion for par- tor in its decision, Gaskell’s motion for partial summary judgment tial summary judgment. will be denied. In 1991, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was amended to in- clude ... Section 2000e-2(m). This section provides as follows: Gaskell's motion for partial summary judgment is denied; an employer commits an unlawful employment practice “when UK's motion for summary judgment is denied; and this matter the complaining party demonstrates that race, color, religion, remains pending. *** ♡ 308 口。 6 Aa » Purchase answer to see full attachment