KENNETH D. HARDY V. TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Mar 28, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ann Buntin Steiner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth D. Hardy.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andree S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Melissa Brodhag, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Board of Regents, and Chief Sylvia Russell.

Judge(s): DINKINS

Former state university police officer brought suit against the university, its governing board, and the university‘s chief of police asserting causes of action under the Tennessee Public Protection Act (?TPPA?), the Tennessee Human Rights Act (?THRA?), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (?Title VII?); the officer alleged that he had been discriminated against on the basis of his sex and in retaliation for filing a complaint of discrimination with the university and charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (?EEOC?), and that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and constructively discharged. At a hearing on the defendants‘ motion for summary judgment on all causes of action the trial court orally granted the motion in full; in the final order the court adopted findings of fact and conclusions of law which had been prepared by counsel for defendants. The officer appeals the dismissal of all causes of action except for sex discrimination; he also asserts that the findings and conclusions do not comply with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04. Holding that the findings and conclusions adopted by the court reflect the court‘s independent analysis as required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04 with respect to the incidents which were alleged to violate the TPPA, we review the grant of summary judgment and affirm the judgment. As to the causes of action arising under Title VII and the THRA, we conclude that TSU was only entitled to summary judgment on the claim that the officer was constructively discharged and on all claims of retaliation except those arising from his transfer to the downtown campus and from multiple warnings the officer received for tardiness, and from his claim of a hostile work environment with respect to numerous write- ups he received. Accordingly, we remand the case for further proceedings related to those claims.