"The check is in the mail" is one of the world's oldest (and some would argue lamest) excuses. In Hicks v. SSP America (6th Cir. 8/3/12), the employer tried a variation in an attempt to avoid an employee's retaliation claim. The employer argued that it was impossible for it have known that the plaintiff had filed an EEOC charge before it fired her because it has lost its mailbox key and therefore it could not have received its copy of the charge. Without debating the merits of the employer's argument, the court of appeals still concluded that a factual issue existed on the issue of whether the employer knew of the protected activity, and reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment. The court relied, in part, on testimony from Hicks's direct supervisor that he "'remember[ed] seeing it' (apparently meaning he had seen either the notice-of-charge envelope from the Commission or the charge itself)."
This case teaches two important points:
Lexis.com subscribers can access the Lexis enhanced version of the Hicks v. SSP Am., Inc., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16233 (6th Cir. Ohio 2012), decision with summary, headnotes, and Shepard's.
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