Greek Ancestry Not Connected to Termination; Discrimination Case Dismissed

In Kasiotakis v. Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc., No. 14 CIV. 462 CM, 2015 WL 6125356 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 16, 2015), the court granted defendant Macy’s motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s national origin discrimination complaint.

The court explained that plaintiff failed to prove “pretext” as part of the burden-shifting analysis as provided for by  McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973):

[T]here is not a scintilla of evidence in the record tending to show, or even suggest, that Plaintiff’s Greek ancestry had anything to do with the decision to end her employment. Plaintiff may disagree with Macy’s actions, or think that the penalty was too harsh, but it is not the role of the court to determine whether the defendant’s decision to fire plaintiff was correct, but whether it was discriminatory.

Plaintiff also failed to meet her burden under a “mixed motive” analysis, under which a plaintiff is required “to show evidence that an illegitimate factor had a ‘motivating’ or ‘substantial’ role in the employment decision.” Plaintiff’s failure to make out a prima facie case under McDonnell Douglas doomed her “mixed motive” theory, since “plaintiff’s burden in a mixed motive case is heavier than the de minimus showing required to establish a prima facie McDonnell Douglas case.”

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