October 2003 Case Summaries

Employer's subjective reasons for not promoting plaintiff survive summary judgment.

Brooks v. Ameren UE, 345 F.3d 986 (8th Cir. October 8, 2003) - This is a Title VII and 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 action alleging failure to promote. Ronald Brooks, an African American, sought promotions to the positions of construction supervisor in 1999 and 2001. Each time, white employees were selected. The selection process involved a committee which asked the same series of written questions and scored each applicant's responses. The committee also discussed the work performance of the applicants. According to the employer, Brooks was not promoted based on lower interview scores and based on the committee's concerns about his "people skills" and leadership ability. The district court granted summary judgment on behalf of Ameren. The Eighth Circuit affirms. Even though subjective promotion procedures require close scrutiny, Brooks failed to show that the proffered reasons for his non-selection were pretextual. Click here to see actual case.

 

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