Race/National Origin Discrimination Case Survives Summary Judgment

In Jain v. Tokio Marine Management Inc., 2018 WL 4636842, (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2018), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of discrimination (promotion denial and termination).

In sum, plaintiff – of Indian descent – asserted claims of discriminatory failure to promote, discriminatory termination, retaliatory failure to promote, and retaliatory termination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As to plaintiff’s termination claim, the court explained:

Jain also claims that Tokio Marine terminated him because of his race/national origin. “[T]here is no unbending or rigid rule about what circumstances allow an inference of discrimination when there is an adverse employment decision.” … To defeat summary judgment, Jain “must show circumstances that would be sufficient to permit a rational finder of fact to infer that the defendant’s employment decision was more likely than not based in whole or in part on discrimination.” …  Here again, Jain presents a material issue of fact with respect to whether Tokio Marine’s proffered non-discriminatory reasons for his termination were pretextual.

First, Jain demonstrates that his treatment changed after Taylor took over. … As discussed above, Jain received satisfactory reviews from Taylor’s predecessor, and problems with Jain seemed to arise only after Taylor took over. Second, and coinciding with the fact that his alleged mistreatment occurred upon Taylor’s arrival, Taylor is alleged to have told Jain—the only person of Indian descent in his group—that he was terminated because he was not the “right cultural fit.” … Therefore, the discriminatory termination also should proceed to trial.