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Fifth Circuit Reverses Jury Verdict for Plaintiff

// Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse (Blog) // Keith Clouse

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the trial court’s ruling for the plaintiffs in an age and race discrimination matter. Perret v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., No. 13-40867 (5th Cir. Oct. 20, 2014), available at

An employer placed two employees on coaching plans and, later, on Performance Improvement Plans. The employees resigned and sued on grounds of age and race discrimination. The jury found that the employer constructively discharged the employees. But, because the jury also determined that the employer would have placed the employees on coaching plans and Performance Improvement Plans even if it had not considered age and race, the employees were precluded from receiving monetary damages. Both sides appealed.

On appeal, the court determined that the employees failed to prove that they were constructively discharged. To prove a constructive discharge, an employee must demonstrate that the working conditions became so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would have felt compelled to resign. Here, the employees presented no evidence of demotion, reassignment, reduction in responsibilities, harassment, or humiliation. They also presented no evidence that a supervisor advised them to resign or asked them whether they would resign. Because of this, the court ruled for the employer.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment lawyer about a workplace employment law issue, send an email to or call (214) 239-2705.

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