• Third Circuit Denies Plaintiff's Retaliation Claims
  • October 6, 2017 | Authors: Eve B. Masinter; Jerry L. Stovall; Rachael M. Coe; Jacob E. Roussel; Murphy J. Foster; John T. Andrishok; Leo C. Hamilton; E. Fredrick Preis; Rachael Jeanfreau; Melissa M. Shirley; Steven B. Loeb; Sunny Mayhall West
  • Law Firm: Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • The Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied former Victoria's Secret store manager Mindy Caplan's retaliation claims against the retail giant. According to court papers, Caplan, a white district manager, was fired shortly after posting two racially charged images on Facebook. The first images was a repost of a person wearing a hooded robe with a Los Angeles Clippers logo and the number 42 on it. It was captioned "Game 5 in LA is Free Sheet Night...Donald Sterling Bobble head doll night too!" which referred to the former Clippers owner who was ousted after a video of him making racist remarks went viral. The second image was what appeared to be a still shot from a local newscast picturing an African-American woman named "Airwrecka McBride," and captioned "I've been spelling Erica wrong my whole life." Caplan claimed the speech was protected because the Sterling post was a protest against racism and the Airwrecka post was meant to be a joke, not racist. Third Circuit Judge Theodore A. McKee disputed this claim, stating the second post could only be read as "satiriz[ing] the atypical spelling of an African-American woman's name," which gave Victoria's Secret the right to fire Caplan. Caplan had claimed she was fired for taking too much time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but McKee said Caplan failed to show Victoria's Secret's reason for firing her was pretextual.