Pryor v. Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
212 F.3d 976 (2000)
Donna F. Pryor (plaintiff) worked as a secretary for the law firm Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson (defendant), which specialized in employment law. For nine years, the lawyers to whom Pryor was assigned gave her consistently good performance reviews, and one of the lawyers, Dalinka, went out of his way to compliment Pryor's work. Pryor complained to the firm that another lawyer, Woodford, sexually discriminated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Shortly thereafter, the firm's personnel manager observed Pryor taking time out to work on a visiting friend's fingernails. The manager fired Pryor without prior warning. Pryor sued the firm for violating Title VII and for retaliatory discharge. The firm's pretrial pleadings established a prima facie nondiscriminatory defense for its actions: (1) Pryor was discharged for poor performance and inappropriate attire rather than for the fingernail incident or in retaliation for Pryor's Title VII complaint, (2) Dalinka inflated Pryor's performance reviews, and (3) Pryor ignored the firm's instructions for all secretaries to take Excel software training. Pryor responded that the firm's defense was pretextual because: (1) the fingernail incident occurred during her break; (2) the firm did not order Excel training, but nevertheless she voluntarily enrolled for that training; and (3) her discharge must have been retaliatory, because otherwise the fingernail incident would have resulted only in a warning. The federal trial court granted the firm's motion for summary judgment. Pryor appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which initially determined that summary judgment was proper as to Pryor's Title VII claim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.