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Pharmacist Alleges Gender Discrimination Was Basis for Termination

Did trial court judge err when dismissing the lawsuit without direct evidence of plaintiff’s claim?

Facts of the Case

A pharmacist in a Midwestern state accepted an offer of employment at a pharmacy chain. He signed an acknowledgement that termination could occur if he violated the firm’s conduct or internet policies. Shortly after he was hired, female coworkers reported to company officials that he was engaging in inappropriate behavior. That led to his receiving a verbal warning from company officials.

About 2.5 years after he had started work, the company’s human resources department launched an investigation in response to complaints from coworkers that he had been viewing pornography on his work computer. The firm interviewed 4 of his female coworkers, who alleged that he had engaged in online gambling, had touched them inappropriately, and had viewed naked women on his work computer while at work. The firm assigned members of its information technology department to determine whether he had viewed pornography on his work computer. Those investigations did not definitively conclude that he had done so.

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