Derek Johannsen Received Summary Judgment in Jackson County in Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Case.08/01/2014
Derek Johannsen recently received (June 26, 2014) summary judgment in Jackson County, Missouri in an employment discrimination and retaliation case. Plaintiff Eric Butkovich alleged that he was discriminated against, terminated and retaliated against for refusing to take actions which he believed were retaliatory in nature against a former employee who had filed a sexual harassment case. The Court determined that Derek’s client, Lee’s Summit prosecutor Terri Round, was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law based on one or more of the following arguments:
1. Defendant Round was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because co-defendants requesting an attorney who contracted with the City to perform substitute prosecutor functions to enter his appearance and handle a municipal appeal before the court of appeals was not a practice prohibited by Sections 213.055.1(1) and 213.070(2) R.S.Mo.
2. Defendant Round was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because in the absence of the commission of an act prohibited by Chapter 213 R.S.Mo., such as retaliation, Plaintiff was unable to establish a necessary element of his “aiding and abetting” claim. § 213.070(1) R.S.Mo.
3. Defendant Round was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Plaintiff was not a person who was protected by the statute, in that he was an independent contractor and not an employee. Sloan v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 1 S.W.3d 555, 564 (Mo. App. W.D. 1999); and Howard v. City of Kansas City, 332 S.W.3d 772 (Mo. banc 2011).
4. Defendant Round was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Plaintiff failed to timely file his administrative charge within the time permitted under Missouri law.
5. Defendant Round was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because she neither directly oversaw nor was actively involved in the alleged discriminatory or retaliatory conduct that is the basis of Plaintiff’s Petition such that she is not an “employer” as defined by the Missouri Human Rights Act.
Plaintiff has appealed the Court’s ruling.