Saunders v. Apothaker Assocs. (D.N.J. 2012): Criminal Law and Equal Protection Case

Plaintiff Lavotte Saunders, a Muslim African-American male, brought this claim of discrimination based on race and religion against the Respondent, the Plaintiff’s former employer Apothaker & Associates. Two days after the Plaintiff was hired, he was fired on the basis of having a criminal record, but later discovered that several other employees of the Respondent had criminal records (including felony convictions) and were not fired. Therefore, the Plaintiff brought suit on the basis that he was fired as a result of disparate treatment due to religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment. The Court found that claims of discrimination are subject to the McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green burden shifting analysis: First, the Plaintiff had to state a prima facie case, and then the burden shifted to the Respondent to “articulate some legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the employee’s termination.” The Court found that the Plaintiff failed to state a prima facie case, because he could not prove that he was qualified for the position in the first place. Therefore, the Court granted the Respondent’s motion for summary judgment.

FirstPreviousPage 1 of of 8NextLast