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Discrimination lawsuit filed against GE is dismissed

Discrimination lawsuit filed against GE is dismissed

A federal racial and gender discrimination lawsuit filed against General Electric in 2012 by a forme
Discrimination lawsuit filed against GE is dismissed

A federal racial and gender discrimination lawsuit filed against General Electric in 2012 by a former employee has been completely dismissed, records show.

The judge in the case ultimately found that the company properly terminated Yvonne W. Alex based on her conduct and after giving her a final warning.

Chief U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby issued the ruling dismissing the remaining portions of the case in March. A 30-day deadline for most appeals passed last month with no appeal filed, records show.

General Electric spokeswoman Chris Horne issued a statement recently praising the ruling:

“We are very pleased that the facts and undisputed evidence of this case led the Federal District court of New York to dismiss all claims brought by Ms. Alex. GE is committed to a workplace based on respect and fairness to all employees and free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

The court dismissed several of Alex’s claims against General Electric and individuals in earlier rulings, including one issued in March 2014.

The March 2016 decision dismissed the remaining retaliation claims against General Electric, as well as the remaining hostile work environment claim against an employee defendant.

Alex filed her initial lawsuit in June 2012, seeking $50 million in damages. She named General Electric, along with a total of 13 individual employees she accused of either perpetrating the discrimination or failing to properly investigate or respond to her complaints.

Alex, who is black, claimed sexual harassment, race discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment, all against General Electric. She made similar allegations against each of the named employees. She claimed one incident happened days before President Obama’s visit to the company in January 2011.

But those claims narrowed with the judge’s later rulings, leaving only the GE and single-employee claims that the judge dismissed in March.

Alex began work at GE Energy in 1981 and continued to work there until September 2011, her lawsuit read. She contended she was terminated on accusations that she was a “disruptive employee,” her attorney Eric Sanders said previously.

Sanders did not return calls for comment on the lawsuit’s dismissal.

Alex alleged in the suit that throughout her time at GE, she and other employees were treated differently because of their gender and race, that they were passed over for positions in favor of less-qualified white, male employees and were paid less.

The judge noted the alleged race-based hostile work environment incidents happened over a two-year period and Alex either admitted they happened differently from initially claimed or included no spoken words to Alex. The court cited a lack of admissible evidence to support the claims.

The judge also found that GE gave Alex a final notice in July 2011 based upon documented plant work rule violations and that GE possessed evidence that she violated that final notice in September 2011 and terminated her. She also offered no admissible evidence that the termination was retaliatory.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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