Scott K. Sheets


Obtained summary judgment on discrimination case

Our client, a national transportation company, was granted a summary judgment in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky. The plaintiff, a former carman, alleged race discrimination when his employer pulled a posted job and re-posted it with a CDL license requirement. He also alleged race discrimination for his employment termination following his conviction in Indiana state court on a drug-related charge. District court granted summary judgment on all counts, finding the employer had a legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-pretextual reason for its addition of a commercial driver’s license requirement for the posted job and finding the employee’s termination following a drug conviction was in keeping with the employer’s written drug policy. The summary judgment was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Obtained summary judgment for client in harassment and retaliatory discharge case

We obtained summary judgment for our client, an electrical subcontractor in U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Kentucky. The plaintiff, an electrician, sued her employer and the project manager on a construction site claiming sexual harassment in the presence of open, movable urinals on the construction site and retaliatory discharge. District court granted summary judgment on all counts, finding no sexually hostile work environment as plaintiff admitted both other male employees had expressed distaste over the urinals and the other female employees had indicated they had no problem with them. The court also found the plaintiff’s discharge was not retaliatory, as her termination was for an admitted violation of the construction site’s no-smoking policy, and the site manager’s directive for her removal from the worksite for this violation and her employer’s lack of any other job sites to which it could send her rendered her termination valid. The judgment was not appealed.

Obtained summary judgment for client on disability discrimination claim

We obtained summary judgment for our client, a mining company, in Fayette County Circuit Court in West Virginia. The plaintiff laborer was dismissed after a random drug test revealed the presence of a controlled substance for which he could not produce a prescription. He filed suit claiming his termination was disability discrimination, because he had revealed a back condition. The circuit court found the employer had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the termination, as the employee had, by the employer’s written drug policy, failed the drug screen by his inability to produce a prescription for the controlled substance in question. The judgment was not appealed.

Settled wrongful termination claims case

We negotiated a favorable settlement for our client, an assisted living center, in a state court civil action involving claims of wrongful termination, disability discrimination, workers’ compensation discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress following an employee’s termination after her exhaustion of workers’ compensation benefits. Among others, the suit included claims the employer had terminated the employee despite having information her likely return to work was within two weeks of the termination date and a dispute as to whether an offer of light duty was ever conveyed to the plaintiff. Potential damages included back pay and front pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages and an attorney’s fee award. Mediation following the filing of a comprehensive summary judgment motion resulted in settlement.