Monday, June 26, 2006

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Gender Discrimination Claim Against Fire Station

Jonnie Sue Hux was the first woman in the City of Newport New Fire Department to obtain a fire officer's position. (She was a Fire Lieutenant). But the City denied her four attempts to be promoted to Fire Captain, hiring 19 male candidates instead. Ms. Hux sued the City, claiming she was better qualified than the male selectees and was the victim of gender discrimination.

Affirming the District Court in a published opinion, the Fourth Circuit recently stated that Ms. Hux was not better qualified than any of the male selectees. In attempting to pick apart the City's hiring decisions, Ms. Hux failed to acknowledge the selectees' "qualifications were superior to hers overall." According the Court, Ms. Hux's "suggestion that summary judgment is precluded by pinprick objections to an employer's non-discriminatory justification would place routine personnel decision in judicial hands."

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