(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) In a verdict that may lead to some semblance of sanity in the application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a North Carolina jury has awarded $10 million to a health care executive allegedly fired to make room for “diversity and inclusion” hires.
Novant Health has been named the number one place to work in the nation for women and diverse managers! ? Thank you @DiversityMBAMag for naming us as the top pick for 2021. #BestPlaceToWork #TopPick https://t.co/mN30Rws6QE pic.twitter.com/7Igo8xfHQG— Novant Health (@NovantHealth) July 7, 2021
NBC News reported that David Duvall sued Novant Health, “an integrated system of physician practices, hospitals, outpatient centers,” after he was fired “as part,” he claimed, “of an intentional campaign to promote diversity in its management ranks.”
According to the New York Times, Novant argued in court that, although Duvall “fulfilled what was asked of him” in his role, he was fired because he “was not exceptional” and was not “seen as an enterprise leader.”
In a statement following the verdict, published by Fox 46 Charlotte, the company reaffirmed its commitment to race- and gender-based hiring practices:
“Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including white men. It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all.”
For his part, Duvall’s attorney said that “the punitive damages award is a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees in order to achieve greater diversity in the workforce.”
The verdict was issued in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.