Douglas v. DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co.

144 F.3d 364 (1998)

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Douglas v. DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
144 F.3d 364 (1998)

SC

Facts

Kordice Douglas (plaintiff) was an in-house attorney for DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations (DynMcDermott) (defendant). DynMcDermott was a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). During an audit conducted by the DOE, Douglas disclosed DynMcDermott’s handling of an employment-related discrimination complaint that a DynMcDermott employee had filed. Also, after Douglas’s performance review at DynMcDermott, she drafted and filed a response letter claiming that she had been the victim of racial and sexual discrimination. Douglas sent the response letter to the DOE. Ultimately, DynMcDermott terminated Douglas’s employment. Douglas sued DynMcDermott in federal court for discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The jury returned a verdict in Douglas’s favor. DynMcDermott appealed, arguing that Douglas’s disclosure of confidential company information was not protected under Title VII and that her employment was terminated not because of discrimination but because the company could no longer trust her as its attorney to keep its confidences.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jolly, J.)

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