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Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

January 14, 2016, Decided

No. 14-14596

Opinion

 [*884]  PER CURIAM:

In this Title VII case, Jennifer Chavez appeals from the grant of summary judgment to her former employer, Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC ("Credit Nation"). Chavez, an auto mechanic, filed this lawsuit for sex discrimination and alleges she was terminated because she is a transgender person.

] Title [**2]  VII declares unlawful any "employment practice" that "discriminate[s] against any individual with respect to . . . compensation terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Title VII forbids intentional employment discrimination predicated on any of the protected characteristics of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. See Denney v. City of Albany, 247 F.3d 1172, 1182 (11th Cir. 2001). Sex discrimination includes discrimination against a transgender person for gender nonconformity. Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1316-17 (11th Cir. 2011).

Chavez's appeal may be distilled into three enumerations: that the district court erred in granting summary judgment by (1) deciding that she did not present direct evidence of discriminatory intent by Credit Nation in terminating her; (2) concluding that she did not establish a genuine issue of material fact regarding pretext pursuant to McDonnell Douglas to survive summary judgment on her sex discrimination claim; and (3) ruling that Chavez's circumstantial evidence did not create triable issues as to whether her employer Credit Nation had discriminatory intent and whether that animus was "a motivating factor" in its terminating her. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2(a)(1) and 2(m). Upon review of the record, consideration [**3]  of the parties' briefs, and after the benefit of oral argument, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

I. DIRECT EVIDENCE

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641 Fed. Appx. 883 *; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 598 **; 128 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1049; 99 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P45,473

JENNIFER CHAVEZ, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus CREDIT NATION AUTO SALES, LLC, f.k.a. Synergy Motor Company, Defendant-Appellee.

Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. D.C. Docket No. 1:13-cv-00312-WSD.

Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, 49 F. Supp. 3d 1163, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127760 (N.D. Ga., 2014)

Disposition: AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART.

CORE TERMS

termination, circumstantial evidence, discriminatory intent, gender, motivating factor, transition, pretext, summary judgment, motive, direct evidence, disciplinary, sex, causation, argues, steps, wear, prima facie case, discriminate, discipline, cases, sex discrimination, national origin, district court, triable issue, progressive, retaliation, pretextual, employees, religion, survive

Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Title VII Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Gender & Sex Discrimination, Evidence, Circumstantial & Direct Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Evidentiary Considerations, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Burden Shifting, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Constitutional Law, Bill of Rights, Fundamental Rights, Trial by Jury in Civil Actions, Trials, Jury Trials, Right to Jury Trial, Retaliation, Defenses, Remedies, Retaliation, Burdens of Proof