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Third Circuit affirmed the summary judgment of the plaintiff’s Title VII race discrimination and ADEA age discrimination claims in a per curiam opinion.

January 1, 2019
McKinney v. Hackensack Meridian Health, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29384 (3d. Cir. Oct. 18, 2018)

McKinney, who is African American and 64 years old, began working for Meridian Nursing & Rehab in 1999 as a nutritional services supervisor. She had worked the opening shift until April 2013, when it was decided that all nutritional services supervisors would take turns working both the opening and closing shifts. McKinney objected on the ground that she had always worked only the opening shift, and she told the defendant it was making this decision based on her race. The plaintiff’s race discrimination claim failed because all employees with the same job title as the plaintiff’s were required to cover the closing shift and the plaintiff worked fewer closing shifts than others. As the Third Circuit explained, the plaintiff failed to show an adverse employment action. It further noted that the record was devoid of circumstances that could give rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination. McKinney also complained about a July 2015 incident in which a patient with seafood allergies was served clam chowder when it was her duty to check patient trays. McKinney alleged she was picked on because of her race and recollected being called into a meeting to discuss this, where an assistant administrator yelled and pointed a finger at her. The court concluded that an isolated verbal reprimand, which did not result in disciplinary action, does not rise to the level of an adverse employment action. The Third Circuit also found that McKinney failed to establish an adverse action with respect to her ADEA claim because, although she asserted that younger employees were hired as supervisors, she did not explain how that affected her employment. 

 

Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2019

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