Dee Smith Amos reports:
Duke Energy won a worker discrimination and retaliation case Monday.
Louis Selkerk, of Mason, was a 19-year employee for Duke Energy and its predecessor, Cinergy. He was a senior substation electrician when he was fired in 2005. An arbitrator in 2007 recommended he be re-hired. Duke rehired him a year later for a different position that paid less.
Selkirk, who is African American, contends that the firing and disparate treatment by his employer were racially motivated. He also alleged a former supervisor was overheard calling him a racial slur and that Duke was retaliating against him.
Duke denied the allegations and called the lawsuit frivolous. Duke’s attorneys had asked Judge Robert C. Winkler to instruct the jury to consider a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that required plaintiffs to prove that any retaliation by an employer was intentional.
Company spokeswoman Sally Thelen said she is pleased with the ruling and that Duke Energy is committed to equal opportunity employment.
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