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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Rob Knight is Revcor Molded Products Company’s vice president of manufacturing. In March 2001, Knight hired Xuxian Niu, a Chinese American, as Revcor’s manufacturing engineering manager. Niu’s job duties included, among other things, supervising the manufacturing engineering group, leading the “lean manufacturing process,” and developing and implementing the design and manufacture of new products. Niu reported directly to Knight, who awarded him two discretionary pay raises during his first year of employment. In November 2002, however, Revcor terminated Niu’s employment. Niu filed suit against Revcor and Knight for employment discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, racial harassment and retaliation. Revcor and Knight then filed a traditional motion for summary judgment, supported by various summary judgment evidence, including the affidavits of Knight and Larry Brigman, vice president of human resources, and excerpts from the depositions of Brigman, Knight and Niu. According to Brigman’s affidavit, in 2001, Revcor suffered losses of approximately $1.2 million; therefore, it was forced to lay off 50 employees. In 2002, despite turning a profit of approximately $380,000, Revcor laid off five more employees. According to Knight’s affidavit and deposition, Niu was terminated, because the lean manufacturing integration process had been completed and his skills were geared toward preparing and developing new products, an area for which there was a bleak business forecast at the end of 2002 and for 2003. Niu filed a response to Revcor’s and Knight’s motion for summary judgment, which was also supported by summary judgment evidence, including Niu’s own affidavit. According to Niu’s affidavit, Knight and Kerry Burton, another employee, ridiculed his Chinese accent throughout his employment with Revcor. Niu stated under oath that on Feb. 20, 2002, he complained to Knight about the comments; however, Knight responded by telling him “to speak standard English” and “to not speak like a Negro.” Furthermore, Niu averred that Knight stated that “Kerry Burton was his right handed [sic] man and that [Niu] needed to treat him like [his] boss.” Niu also averred that subsequently, on March 18, 2002, he received a written warning for “combating his associates.” Then again on May 23, 2002, Niu received two written warnings, one for comments made to a subordinate employee and one for unprofessional conduct during meetings. Niu stated in his affidavit that immediately after the reprimands on May 23, he again complained to Knight in the presence of Staci Coffman from human resources that Knight was treating him differently than other employees. According to Niu, Knight and Coffman had no response to the allegation. Niu stated that his employment for Revcor was ultimately terminated on Nov. 22, 2002. The trial court granted Revcor and Knight’s motion for summary judgment as to all causes of action. In two points, Niu challenged the grant of summary judgment in favor of Revcor on his discrimination and retaliation causes of action. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court held that Revcor satisfied its burden to establish as a matter of law a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Niu. It also held that Niu failed to raise a fact issue concerning pretext. Thus, the court held that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Revcor on Niu’s claim of intentional racial discrimination. Because Revcor proved a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Niu, the court did not consider Revcor’s argument challenging Niu’s prima facie discrimination case. The court then reviewed Niu’s retaliation claim. It held that the reprimands cannot serve as a basis for Niu’s retaliation claim. Taken by themselves, the court stated that the reprimands did not rise to the level of adverse employment action. Specifically, the court stated it did not find that the reprimands might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. The court held that Niu failed to raise a fact issue concerning whether Revcor’s legitimate nondiscriminatory reason was a pretext for retaliation. OPINION:Gardner, J.; Cayce, C.J.; Gardner and Walker, J.J.

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