Eleventh Circuit: Discrimination Defined When Compared to Similar Employees


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March 21, 2019


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When making a discrimination claim under federal law, an employee must show she was treated differently than a “similarly situated” individual. In Lewis v. Union City, the Eleventh Circuit en banc defined what it means to be similarly situated. Specifically, only employees who are “similarly situated in all material respects” may be compared for purposes of finding discrimination. Although the analysis of similarity of “all material respects” will be determined on a case-by-case basis, the court gave “guideposts” of what to consider. For example, such individuals will have (1) engaged in the same basic conduct, (2) been subject to the same employment policy or rule, (3) ordinarily have the same supervisor, and (4) a shared employment or disciplinary history.

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