Court Applies “Same Actor Inference” in Dismissing Latina Woman’s Employment Discrimination Claims Against Barclays

In Garcia v. Barclays Capital, Inc., et al, 13-cv-5308, 2017 WL 5499789 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2017), the court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s employment discrimination claims.

The court reached this decision by, inter alia, applying the so-called “same actor inference.” That doctrine provides that “the person who made the decision to fire was the same person who made the decision to hire [] strongly suggests invidious discrimination was unlikely.” [Citation omitted.]

The court explained:

In addition, Barclays’ argument that Garcia’s race and sex played no role in Gold’s decision is bolstered by the undisputed fact that Gold made the decision to hire Garcia. See Grady v. Affiliated Cent., Inc., 130 F.3d 553, 560 (2d Cir. 1997) (noting that same actor inference—where “the person who made the decision to fire was the same person who made the decision to hire”—strongly suggests “invidious discrimination was unlikely”); Schnabel, 232 F.3d at 91 (holding same actor inference was “highly relevant” where manager who hired plaintiff fired him three years later); Anderson v. Hertz Corp., 507 F. Supp. 2d 320, (S.D.N.Y. 2007), aff’d 303 F. App’x 946, 948 (2d Cir. 2008). Although Gold’s decision to hire Garcia in 2008 was made about five years before his decision to include her in the 2013 RIF, Gold promoted Garcia to head of Nobramex in 2009, nominated her for Woman of the Year in 2010, nominated her for promotion to managing director in 2010 and 2011, did not include her in the 2011 RIF against the advice of a human resources Director, and included her on his long list of candidates in 2012. These acts demonstrate Gold’s repeated endorsement of Garcia as an employee, which is akin to a decision to hire, see Figueroa v. N.Y.C. Health & Hosps. Corp., 500 F. Supp. 2d 224, 236 (S.D.N.Y. 2007), and served as validation of his initial decision to hire Garcia in 2008. Accordingly, in light of the length of time between Gold’s decision to hire Garcia and decision to include her in the 2013 RIF, coupled with his intervening acts of validation of Garcia’s employment, I find that the same actor inference is warranted here.

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