California District Court Denies Plaintiff’s Claim After Termination from Medical Center Job

Recently, a federal district court in California denied a plaintiff’s appeal in a racial discrimination case. The plaintiff worked for a community medical center as a microbiologist, and according to the medical center, he was fired in 2018 for violating the center’s privacy policies. The lower court denied the plaintiff’s racial discrimination claim, and the plaintiff asked the higher court to re-examine the decision. On appeal, the district court agreed with the original decision, affirming the court’s denial of the claim.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the employer in this case reported that the defendant was fired because he violated the center’s well-established privacy and confidentiality policies. In a deposition, the plaintiff admitted that he copied various medical records, removed the copied records from the workplace, and copied the records onto his personal computer at home. He also emailed documents that contained protected health information to his personal email account. This violation of the employer’s policy led to his firing in 2018.

The plaintiff told a different story. According to the defendant, he faced racial discrimination while in the workplace. At one point, for example, the plaintiff’s supervisor told him, “You stubborn Indian, do your job.” The plaintiff felt as if he was treated differently due to his race, and he felt that his race was ultimately a factor in his termination.

The Decision

The lower court denied the plaintiff’s claim and ruled in favor of the employer. On appeal, the plaintiff asked for the district court to reconsider the ruling. He argued that his conduct in bringing the health records home was inadvertent and that it was not grounds for his termination. The real reason he was terminated, said the plaintiff, was at least in part due to his race and the discrimination he faced while at work.

The court looked at the record and concluded that the employer had offered clear and convincing evidence that they had a legitimate business reason for firing the plaintiff. The employer’s case, said the court, was “so clear as to leave no substantial doubt” that the plaintiff was fired for violating the center’s privacy and confidentiality policies. Because the conduct was also admitted by the plaintiff at his deposition, there was no doubt that he committed the acts in question.

The court thus denied the plaintiff’s appeal and affirmed the lower court’s verdict.

Have You Faced Discrimination in Your Workplace?

At the Nourmand Law Firm, we understand that every client has a story and that every story brings its own set of considerations. If you have faced discrimination of any kind in the workplace, call us today so that we can advise you on how to bring your claims in a clear, concise, successful way. Courts look at a variety of factors when deciding employment discrimination claims, and a high-quality attorney is crucial to your success. At Nourmand Law Firm, are proud to provide the experience-based, cutting-edge representation you need. For a free and no-obligation consultation, call us today at 800-700-9243.

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