/cdklawyers.com/Keith Clouse – Dallas Employment Lawyer

A Texas appellate court held that the City of San Antonio did not discriminate against a male employee.  City of San Antonio v. Gonzalez, No. 04-08-00829-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Nov. 4, 2009), available at http://www.4thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLopinions.asp?OpinionID=22505.

Gonzalez, the only male in his work group, accessed his supervisor’s confidential computer folder (which should have been accessible only to management) and printed information regarding his performance improvement plan.  On Gonzalez’s suggestion, a female employee accessed the folder but did not open any documents and later informed the employer about the confidentiality breach.  The employer discharged Gonzalez because he printed confidential information and did not cooperate with its investigation, and it replaced him with a female.  The employer did not discharge the female employee who accessed the confidential folder.  Gonzalez sued for gender discrimination, and a jury found that gender was a motivating factor in the decision to discharge Gonzalez.  The employer appealed.

To prevail on a gender discrimination claim, a plaintiff must show that he was treated less favorably than similarly situated members of the opposing class.  Employees are similarly situated if their circumstances are comparable in all material respects.  Here, the Court found that Gonzalez and the female employee were not similarly situated because Gonzalez’s conduct was much more serious.  This factor accounted for the employer’s different treatment.  Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment.

To speak with an employment law attorney about discrimination, please contact the employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at http://www.cdklawyers.com.

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