Former Executive Awarded $10m Claim For Being Fired Because He Is a White Man

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Former Executive Awarded $10m
Claim For Being Fired Because He Is a White Man

David Duvall, a Michigan man who sued his employer, Novant Health, claimed in the employer fired him as a white man and replaced him with a Black woman and a White woman as part of the employer’s effort to promote diversity. A North Carolina jury agreed that race and gender were motivating factors in Duvall’s termination and awarded him $10 million in a landmark judgment.

Duvall was senior vice president of marketing at Novant Health and was fired in 2018, purportedly because of his “deficient performance,” and for delegating “critical duties” to his subordinates, instead of completing them himself.  Duvall was fired just before his 5th anniversary, when he would have been eligible for a bigger severance package.

The punitive damages awarded are seen as a strong message that an employer cannot discriminatorily terminate and replace employees in order to achieve greater diversity in the workforce.

Many employers have and are currently putting in place diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs to meet the challenges of the day, but the DEI programs must support strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races, genders, and protected class members, including white men.  Novant Health is appealing the verdict.

Here at Epps & Coulson, LLP we understand that DEI and employee termination issues may be confusing.  We are available to advise.  Feel free to contact Dawn:


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