Defense of Dialysis Center Company in Discrimination and Retaliation Claim

We won summary judgment for a dialysis center company in a multiple-count lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court. The plaintiff, a former clinic nurse, alleged race discrimination and retaliation under state and federal law against the company and her manager based upon her alleged mistreatment while employed and her termination within days of reporting her alleged mistreatment. The Court found that the company properly disciplined the plaintiff for failing to wear personal protective equipment while treating a patient as required by company policy. The Court held the plaintiff did not raise an inference of discrimination regarding her discipline through the nine co-workers proffered as comparators whom she claimed were treated more favorably under similar circumstances. As to the retaliation claim, the Court noted that the temporal proximity of her termination to her complaints was insufficient to establish retaliation because the termination resulted from her failure to show up for work or properly call in on the day of her termination. The Court found that the plaintiff could not raise a jury issue on these various claims, in part, because both the plaintiff’s personal phone records and the clinic’s phone records belied her assertion she attempted to provide notice of her absence in accordance with company policy.

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