Home News Court Grants Request for HR Employee to Testify in AU Athletics Race Discrimination Case

Court Grants Request for HR Employee to Testify in AU Athletics Race Discrimination Case

Court Grants Request for HR Employee to Testify in AU Athletics Race Discrimination Case

In the next step of David Nakhid’s discrimination lawsuit against the University, on Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted his counsel’s request for an employee who works with AU’s Human Relations department and investigated his discrimination complaint to testify in regards to her knowledge of the search and discovery documents.

Nakhid, who is Black and from Trinidad and Tobago, is a former AU soccer player who is in the Stafford H. Cassell Hall of Fame and served as an assistant coach for the Trinidad and Tobago men’s national soccer team in 2006, which played in the World Cup. He is suing the University for race and ethnicity discrimination after being denied a head coaching position for the men’s soccer team in late 2018, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Nakhid was denied an interview.

Nakhid’s counsel, Eden Brown Gaines, said that Brenda Harner, director of AU HR’s employment compliance and relations, provided a briefing to the administration regarding the University’s affirmative action plan after Zach Samol, who is white, was selected for the head coaching position.

While Nakhid’s counsel requested testimony from Harner to provide further insight into the University’s affirmative action plans, the court denied the request.

Nakhid’s counsel also requested that the University produces “any and all” complaints of discrimination, whether formal or informal, made against or involving the athletic department at AU. The court denied this motion as well, stating that the scope of the request was too broad.

However, if the University received “generalized complaints” about the predominantly-white makeup of the athletic department, the court affirmed that they should be produced. The University has represented that they do not have any of these complaints, but they could be released in the future if they come to light, according to Brown Gaines.

AU has employed just one Black head coach throughout the athletic department since 2004, hiring Marsha Harper to lead the women’s soccer team in late 2019.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that you could look at the demographics of the athletic department, and have affirmative action goals or have a plan, and don’t see an all-white department at the upper echelons of positions as problematic,” Brown Gaines said.

In an email to The Eagle, a University spokesperson said Tuesday’s ruling “was a standard resolution of outstanding procedural questions relating to discovery, which has ended.”

“Further responses will be provided consistent with the ruling,” the statement said. “American University is committed to inclusive hiring practices and a diverse and welcoming workplace.”

Eskalera, a Startup Led by Goldman Sachs’ Former HR Head Has Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Index

Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness,...

HSBC to Remove 35,000 Jobs Amidst Covid-19 Crises

HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul...

Genpact Offers Its Internal Skill Training Program Globally for Everyone

Genpact has announced Adapt and Rise, a role-based online learning platform that leverages Genpact's expertise honed from delivering real-world change for hundreds of clients....

San-Francisco Based Learning Platform Degreed Has Raised $32 Million in New Funding

The upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and...

Research Shows the Implications of Workplace Layouts on Employee Productivity and Overall Performance

As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have...

Employee Concierge ‘Back Technologies’ Integrates Automation Into Internal HR and Other Support Tasks

Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an...

HR Strategies to Help Your Business Navigate the New ‘Normal’

No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from the health crisis. Organizations have proven themselves to be agile, and employees have demonstrated...

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In HR, Hiring, Talent Management: Thoughts From A Top Expert

Michael C. Hyter is one of today’s best-known experts on inclusion and diversity and the author of The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career and The...

HR Expert Highlights Actionable Steps to ‘Make Real Change’ Against Racism in Your Workplace

Kyra Leigh Sutton, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches human resources courses...

Adidas Employees Want Company to Investigate HR Chief for Response to Racial Issues

A group of Adidas employees from around the globe is asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer, as part of a...