Calling Employee ?Boy? Can be Evidence of Racial Animus; Superior Qualifications Can be Proof of Discrimination in Promotion Even if They ?Don?t Slap You in the Face?
In a per curiam opinion alleging failure to promote based on race, the Court held that calling an employee the word ?boy? standing alone may be evidence of racial discrimination even when not modified by a racial classification. ?The speaker?s meaning may depend on various factors including context, inflection, tone of voice, local custom, and historical ?usage.????? The ?court ?further ?held ?that pretext?? could?? be?? established?? by?? evidence?? of superior qualifications even if ?the disparity in qualifications is [not] so apparent as virtually to jump off the page and slap you in the face.? ?The Court declined to decide the proper standard holding only that the Eleventh?s Circuit?s standard is too imprecise to yield ?consistent results.? ?Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 05-379 (Feb. 21, 2006, per curiam