A white man from Michigan won a $10 million discrimination lawsuit after a federal jury in Charlotte agreed with his claims that his former employer fired him because he was a white male.
In the lawsuit, David Duvall said in 2018, while living in Charlotte, he was fired from his job with Novant Health as senior vice president of marketing and communication because of the company’s efforts to diversify some of its top leadership positions.
The jury believed Duvall’s assertion of discrimination was correct and that he proved without a reasonable doubt that race and gender were motivating factors that led to his termination. The jury also stated that Novant Health couldn’t prove that it would have fired Duvall regardless of his race.
But Novant Heath asserts that Duvall was fired because he had poor leadership skills. The company also said Duvall admitted in a deposition that he didn’t believe the company was discriminating against him.
“We are extremely disappointed with the verdict as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination,” said a Novant Health spokeswoman. “It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity for all.”
Duvall was replaced by two women–one black and one white. In the lawsuit, he claimed Novant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race and gender discrimination in the workplace.
“We are pleased that the jury agreed that Duvall’s race and gender were unlawful factors in his termination,” said Duvall’s lawyer. “We believe the punitive damages award is a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees to achieve greater diversity in the workforce.”
This is a dangerous precedent that could lead to more reverse racism discrimination cases in the United States. It also creates a false narrative that white men can discriminate against based on race, they legalize that viewpoint in the court of law.
The definition of racism is the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another. How can a white man in America be discriminated against in a system of white supremacy? If a company puts diversity initiatives in place it’s more likely that only white men had to access these opportunities in the first place.
Adding people of color and women to your leadership groups shouldn’t give white men the opening to play the victim.