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Chaline v. KCOH

693 F.2d 477 (1982)

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Chaline v. KCOH

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

693 F.2d 477 (1982)

Facts

Clarence Chaline, Jr., a white man, (plaintiff) worked as a production manager at KCOH, Inc. (KCOH) (defendant). KCOH was a radio station that catered to a primarily Black audience in Houston, Texas. The station mixed rhythm and blues or soul music with “rap time” in which the disc-jockey (DJ) would communicate with the audience. In its 28-year history, KCOH never had a white DJ. In late 1979, KCOH faced lower ratings and billings. To reduce costs, Michael P. Petrizzo (defendant) decided to merge the production manager position with the DJ position. Petrizzo asked Chaline to move to the sales department. Chaline, who had worked in radio for 20 years, objected and asked to stay on as a production manager. DJ. Petrizzo fired Chaline for his refusal to switch positions. Petrizzo hired Don Samuels, a well-known Black DJ, for the position. Chaline sued KCOH and Petrizzo, alleging wrongful termination based on racial discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that KCOH had wrongfully terminated Chaline based on his race, ordered backpay to Chaline, and ordered that KCOH reinstate Chaline. KCOH and Petrizzo appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Goldberg, J.)

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