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 Michael Knippen, Traub, Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry, LLP, Chicago, IL, recently obtained dismissal of claims from the Illinois Department of Human Rights alleging discrimination brought by a teacher against a private school that provides English as a Second Language classes for international students. The teacher alleged that the school had discriminated against him on the basis of his race, national origin, and for opposing unlawful discrimination. The teacher received a negative evaluation from an accreditation institution and was placed on a performance improvement plan, pursuant to the school’s Instructor Handbook. The performance improvement plan included more frequent evaluations, review of lesson plans, and a number of additional requirements for the purpose of improving his performance to acceptable standards. He alleged that these measures were discriminatory. Over the course of the 30-day performance improvement plan, the teacher continued to receive below-acceptable evaluations. The IDHR reviewed the evidence and determined that several other teachers not in the Complainant’s protected classes also were subjected to performance improvement plans, and some were discharged for below-acceptable performance. The evidence showed that the school discharged the teacher because of his poor performance, failing to incorporate the school's suggestions into his classroom, and failing to show improvement in areas of concern. The IDHR found that the school's discharge of the teacher was consistent with its policies, and the determination was made that there was no evidence of an animus based on race, national origin/ancestry, or in retaliation for opposing unlawful discrimination. 

 

 



Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to Scott Salter at ssalter@starneslaw.com

 

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