Desert Palace V. Costa Case Study
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate against an employee or potential employee and enforced the legal theory of disparate treatment. Disparate treatment exists when an employee is treated less favorable than other employees by their employer due to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The matter in question is whether or not …show more content…
Costa, the plaintiff, Catherine Costa, claimed she was terminated for a legitimate reason (a physical altercation in a warehouse elevator) and an illegitimate reason (her gender). Costa had a history of problems with management and co-workers that eventually led to disciplinary actions being taken against her by employer. Costa’s involvement in a physical altercation with a male co-worker led to her termination from Desert Palace. Both employees were disciplined but because of the male employees clean disciplinary record he only received a five-day suspension.
Costa sued Desert Palace under Title VII, claiming sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The sexual harassment claim was dismissed but the sex discrimination claim went to jury. Costa was able to produce evidence that she experienced differential treatment by her employer based on her sex and that the evidence demonstrated her termination was motivated by both her sex and the physical altercation. She then claimed that it was unlawful for her employer to terminate her