The case on which this summary is based may no longer be current law.
Also, if the case was decided on summary judgment, the court recited the
"facts" in the light most favorable to the non-movant, which may not be
the true facts.
Terminated employee failed to show that
employer did not honestly believe he had made bomb threats.
Johnson v. AT&T Corp., 422 F.3d 756 (8th Cir. September 7, 2005) -
This is a Title VII and 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 race discrimination action
alleging wrongful termination. Michael Johnson, a forty-year-old
African-American male, worked as an account representative for the National
Telemarketing Agency, a division of AT&T, with a facility in Lee's Summit,
Missouri. This facility received several bomb threats in July 2001. Two of
the calls were made to 911, and the tape of these calls was played for a
group of sales team leaders during a weekly staff meeting. Nine of the
employees identified the caller as Michael Johnson. The other three
employees did not recognize the voice on the tape. Johnson was terminated
for making these calls. The district court granted summary judgment for
AT&T. The Eighth Circuit affirms. Johnson presented evidence to support his
position that he did not make the calls. But the issue is whether AT&T did
not honestly believe he made the calls. Based upon the lack of evidence on
this issue, the Court finds that Johnson failed to establish the fourth
prong of the prima facie case (i.e., that the discharge occurred in
circumstances which give rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination) or
that Johnson failed to present sufficient evidence of whether AT&T's
proffered reason for his termination was a pretext for racial
discrimination. Johnson also brings an age discrimination claim under the
Missouri Human Rights Act. This claim is dismissed for the same reasons as
the race claim. Click
to see actual case.