On March 21, 2019, the full en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit clarified that in order to establish a prima facie case of workplace discrimination through alleged preferential treatment of a comparator outside the plaintiff’s protected class, a plaintiff must show that the alleged comparator is “similarly situated in all material respects.” The opinion clarifies the “similarly situated” standard in discrimination cases and may assist employers in obtaining summary judgment, particularly in cases in courts located in the Eleventh Circuit, which includes Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

In Lewis v. Union City, Georgia (Case No. 15-11362), an African-American woman sued her former employer for race and gender discrimination. In support of her claim, she identified two white men who she alleged were treated more favorably. The district court granted summary judgment to the employer, concluding that the two white men were not proper comparators, but a panel of the Eleventh Circuit reversed.

Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit holds that comparators in discrimination cases must be “similarly situated in all material respects”

The Scottish Court of Session in the case of Cannop & Others –v- The Highland Council has confirmed that where the employee’s Employment Tribunal claim follows on from a grievance previously communicated, there does need to be a necessary relationship between the grievance and the complaint pleaded in the ET1 Tribunal claim form, so that the grievance underlying the ET1 is essentially the same as the grievance earlier communicated. In respect equal pay claims, the Court declined to comment on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision that the relevant grievance must refer to the comparators which are subsequently cited in the ET1.

Continue Reading Equal Pay – the relationship between grievances and Employment Tribunal claims