Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C. successfully represented a golf club in a lawsuit filed by a former caddy alleging race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (hereinafter “Section 1981”). Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C. attorneys, Jasmine Patel and Martin Gringer, won judgment and dismissal of the former caddy’s claims, avoiding the need to go to trial.
In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the golf club and its manager discriminated against and subjected Plaintiff to a hostile work environment because of his race. In addition, Plaintiff alleged that he was constructively discharged by the golf club. Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C. successfully demonstrated on behalf of the golf club that the one alleged incident did not rise to the level of actionable discrimination or a hostile work environment pursuant to Section 1981. Plaintiff was unable to prove that the one joke played by the manager was discriminatory conduct on the basis of Plaintiff’s race. In addition, the Plaintiff could not prove that the golf club intentionally created an intolerable work environment thereby forcing Plaintiff to quit involuntarily.
The Court held that the manager’s behavior fell “short of the persistent, egregiously offensive conduct found in other cases to support a hostile workplace claim”. Furthermore, the Court stated that the “conduct was not ‘severe’ or ‘pervasive’ enough to create a hostile work environment. There was only one incident in 2015, and the record is devoid of any other instances of racial hostility…[a]n isolated act is not pervasive and does not establish a hostile work environment.” As such, the Court dismissed all of the Plaintiff’s federal claims.