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Don’t Be a Jughead by Thinking That White Men Aren’t a Protected Class

Jonathan T. Hyman
Kohrman Jackson & Krantz PLL - Cleveland Office

December 5, 2013

Previously published on December 3, 2013

A group of male employees of Archie Comics filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against their employer. They allege, among other things, that Nancy Silberkleit, the company’s co-CEO, constantly referred to them by their male anatomy instead of by name.

In her defense, Silberkleit claims that she cannot be liable because “white men” are not a class protected from discrimination.

Rest assured, that defense is a loser. Title VII does not just protect minorities from discrimination. It protects all employees from discrimination. Thus, a male employee enjoys the same rights as a female employee to a workplace free from discrimination, just as a white employee has the same rights a black employee. An employer cannot treat men differently than women, or whites differently than blacks, and the disparately affected and marginalized class (whether or not a historical minority) has a claim.

My advice to Nancy Silberkleit? Abandon your defense, get out your checkbook, and take some EEO training.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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