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Employment Law Blog
James Tarquin, P.A
As part of our commitment to assist and educate employees in fighting back against the abusive employment practices of employers, we offer a broad range of information about employment law issues in our employment blog.

Employee Claims Wrongful Termination Where Supervisor Said She “Knows How To Terminate This Stupid Egyptian Guy”

Discrimination as a burden and weight on shoulders - symbolized by word Discrimination on a steel ball to show negative aspect of Discrimination, 3d illustration

Having represented employment discrimination victims for more than two decades, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers know that discriminatory remarks by supervisors are the most powerful evidence of a discriminatory discharge. As explained by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Dominguez-Curry v. Nevada Trans. Dept., 424 F.3d 1027 (9th Cir. 2005), “a single discriminatory comment by an [employee’s] supervisor” is sufficient to entitle an employee to bring his or her employment discrimination case before a jury. Although discriminatory remarks by supervisors are evidence of an impermissible discriminatory motive, many courts minimize, if not disregard, the significance of discriminatory remarks by supervisors. In this article, our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination attorneys explain how the decision by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Moza v. New York City Health & Hospitals Corp., Case No. 17-1051 (2d Cir. Apr. 15, 2019) illustrates the critical role discriminatory remarks by a supervisor play in proving an employment discrimination case.

Employee Claims Wrongful Termination

In that case, Nashaat Moza (Moza) brought an employment discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, New York City Health & Hospitals Corp. (HHC), pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Title VII protects employees from discrimination on the basis of national origin. Moza claims that HHC violated Title VII by terminating his employment on the basis of his national origin, Egyptian.

Moza was born and received his medical degree in Egypt. In September 2008, Moza was hired by HHC as an Assistant Director of Risk Management. Between the start of his employment and June 2012, Moza received four evaluations rating him a fully competent or better. In March 2013, a woman named Woll became Moza’s supervisor. Moza contends that Woll did not like him from the start and discriminated against him because he is Egyptian. Moza says that Woll attempted to erode his relationships with co-workers and told him that she should be the one to speak on behalf of the Risk Management Department, not him. On one occasion, Moza claims that he heard someone he believed to be Woll state: “I know how to terminate this stupid Egyptian guy.” On another occasion, Moza alleges that Woll told a Haitian employee that Moza has a “different culture from us.”

Remark Evidence Of Wrongful Termination

The trial court dismissed Moza’s discriminatory discharge case. In doing so, the trial court concluded that CCH had demonstrated that Moza was fired because of poor performance. In reaching this conclusion, the trial court believed that Woll’s alleged statement, “I know how to terminate his stupid Egyptian guy,” was not evidence of a discriminatory motive that resulted in Moza’s termination. On appeal, the Second Circuit reversed the trial court’s decision and reinstated Moza’s discriminatory discharge case.

In reversing the trial court’s decision, the Second Circuit focused exclusively on Woll’s alleged discriminatory remark. Unlike the reversed trial court, the appellate court found that Woll’s discriminatory remark was “evidence of discriminatory animus” towards Moza. Thus, the Second Circuit concluded, it is for the jury to determine whether Moza was fired because of his national origin in violation of Title VII.

Consult With Ocala Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination attorneys have been fighting for employee rights for more than two decades. If you have been wrongfully terminated or have questions about your protection against wrongful termination under the federal civil rights laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination lawyers. Our employee rights law firm takes wrongful termination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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