Case Name: Dedewo v. CBS Corporation
Court: United States District Court – Southern District of New York
Date of Opinion: April 4th, 2022
Judge: Alvin K. Hellerstein
Overview: Media Services Coordinator filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination against her employer. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and prevailed.
Background: Plaintiff Deborah Dedewo brought this discrimination claim against her former employer, CBS Corporation. Dedewo alleges that CBS engaged in race and gender discrimination as other white employees were not disciplined or terminated because they were late to work and then lying about why they were late. In addition, Dedewo claims that she was terminated for reporting the discriminatory practices to CBS’s internal complaint system. CBS has moved for summary judgment, arguing that it did not discriminate against her in any way and that her termination was the result of her own dishonesty.
In August, Dedewo submitted a request for unpaid time off from September 16th to September 25th. Her supervisor rejected the request, saying that she had used all of her allotted vacation and personal time and that he needed all staff to work for the start of the football season. On another day, she claims that she was late due to being in “transit”, but was in fact visiting her brother in Queens. She argues that she was treated differently than other employees who come in late. She was terminated on October 15th, 2015. She filed suit against the defendants on October 4th, 2018.
Dedewo claims that she was treated less favorably than her two whit male colleagues who she says came in late and left work early and did not receive any discipline. The court opines that the plaintiff cannot raise an inference of discrimination by pointing to her male colleagues. The court notes that the facts surrounding her two colleagues were meaningfully different.
Also, the court states that there is nothing in the court record that would show a reasonable juror that racial animus was more likely than not the reason for her termination. The court notes that the plaintiff defied the orders of her supervisor, took an unauthorized vacation, and was late in returning to her job. Also, the court states that she has not established the necessary element of causation.
Conclusion: The court grants CBS’s motion for summary judgment.
Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen is a law librarian at a midsize law firm in New York City. He was the creator of Library Stuff, one of the first library blogs, which lasted over 15 years. He obtained his MLS from Queens College in 2002. His passions include legal research, reading novels, and rooting on his favorite sports teams.