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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Judge rules sex discrimination case can proceed against McKesson


By Sarah Downey | Feb 24, 2020

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A federal judge in Tampa has denied a motion for summary judgment by the McKesson Corporation, in a civil rights case brought by a longtime employee.

In the five-count suit, the plaintiff alleges sexual discrimination and retaliation on the part of her employer.

The plaintiff, who started as a sales representative with the company in 1994, initially filed complaints with the EEOC and state court. The state court case was removed to federal court in October 2017.

The Feb. 3 order issued by U.S. District Judge William Jung includes background on the claims.

“The conduct underlying the Plaintiff’s claims occurred over the better part of the last decade. Plaintiff alleges that seven accounts were taken, either permanently or temporarily, from her because of sex discrimination or as retaliation,” the order states. “She further alleges that customers’ requests to have her reinstated as a sales representative or for her to be the sole sales representative were ignored or delayed, as opposed to when a customer requested a man be the sole sales representative and the request was granted."

The plaintiff alleges the defendants denied her compensation and commissions on the accounts.

In December 2015, for example, “Plaintiff alleges that she cultivated a new customer and developed a purchase order for about $40,000. But after the order was complete, her manager assigned the account to another representative and instructed Plaintiff to turn over all her work. The account was eventually returned to Plaintiff, but she did not receive the commission for the initial sale.”

Among the company’s arguments for summary judgment, “defendants argue that Plaintiff is merely questioning Defendants’ business judgment and that she cannot establish a claim of gender discrimination or retaliation,” Jung wrote.

In denying the defendants’ motion, Jung listed three reasons. 

“First there remain genuine issues of material fact that require submission to a factfinder. Second, the Court finds that Plaintiff met the necessary procedural requirements to file her lawsuit. Third, the Court declines to strike Plaintiff’s affidavit as a sham, but grants the Defendants leave to depose Plaintiff with regard to [a sales account].”

The order cites several legal precedents in denying the defendants’ motion.

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