Home Depot Worker Loses Sex Discrimination Claim

     (CN) – A Home Depot employee did not prove that her firing for violating company policy was merely a pretext for sex-based discrimination, the 6th Circuit ruled.

     Sharon Turnbull Sybrant worked at a Home Depot in Nashville for more than 14 years, rising to the position of assistant manager.
     However, she was fired in 2006 for violating the company’s “no self-service” policy. Home Depot employees are not allowed to use their passwords to ring up their own merchandise.
     Sybrant, noting that she was replaced by a man, complained that her firing was based on a pretext of gender discrimination. She alleged that:
      – Home Depot did not disseminate information regarding its strict interpretation of the “no-self-serve” policy;
      – Her supervisor did not seem concerned about her entering notes on her own transaction; and
      – Her actions did not demonstrate a lack of integrity.
     Judge Gilman of the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court agreed with the trial court’s summary judgment.
     Gilman ruled that Sybrant’s three allegations did not bring a genuine issue of fact regarding the company’s true reason for firing her.
     “We conclude that a reasonable jury could not find that the application of Home Depot’s self-service rule to Sybrandt was so unreasonable as to be disbelieved.”

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