A white man who is a former marketing vice president at a North Carolina hospital has just won $100 million in a “reverse discrimination” payout after he was fired and replaced by two women, one of whom is black.
David Duvall had been Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Novant Health in North Carolina for nearly five years before he said he was inexplicably fired in 2018. His firing came days before what would have been his five-year work anniversary, a milestone that would have garnered him a higher payout than what he was given.
Daily Mail reported that the two women who replaced him were Kate Everett, a white woman who had worked with him and was promoted to take the role of Chief PR and Communications Officer, and Vicky Free, a black woman who was given the role of Chief Marketing Officer.
Duvall’s lawyers argued that he was fired “out of the clear blue sky” simply for being a white man as part of the hospital’s “five-year plan” to increase diversity by 2020.
“Without prior warning, and without any explanation as to why that promised ‘normal circumstances’ did not apply, Novant terminated [him] on July 30, 2018 and ordered him off the premises immediately, five days before his fifth work anniversary,” the lawsuit read. “Jesse Cureton notified Plaintiff of this decision and offered no explanation for it, stating the decision had nothing to do with [his] performance, that [he] had done everything asked of him and more.”
Novant initially fired back by claiming in 2019 that Duvall was fired “due to his deficient performance, including his inability to communicate effectively before a group and the delegation of the critical duties of his position to his subordinates.”
In his complaint, however, Duvall said that he was not the only white male fired in this way, alleging that the Chief Legal Officer, Medical Group President, Chief Information Officer, Patient Experience Officer and President of Haymarket Medical Center were all replaced either by a black person or a woman in the 12-18 months after him.
Ultimately, the jury saw things Duvall’s way and sided with him on Tuesday. Luke Largess, Duvall’s attorney, said that his client is not against Diversity and Inclusion and even sat on a board at Novant to promote it.
“Mr. Duvall was committed to D&I, sat on a system committee to promote it and his team created marketing materials,” Largess said. “The case is about the fact that you cannot fire people just to create opportunities to fill positions. It is not a case against Diversity and Inclusion.”
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Author: James Samson
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