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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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