Plaintiff is Entitled to Read the Defendant’s Email

Friedman & Houlding LLP routinely seeks production of e-mail, texts and video that contain racially and sexually offensive words and images, sent by managers. These are the same managers charged with enforcing the employer’s discrimination and harassment policy. More often than not, we find these same managers are downloading offensive material, and emailing the material to others at the employer. Courts have held this evidence admissible on whether the employer had an effective anti-harassment policy, the bias of those charged with enforcing the alleged anti-discrimination policy, and whether managers were negligent in responding to complaints.

In Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., No. 5:10-CV-00522, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142376 (E.D.N.C. Oct. 2, 2012), defendant refused to give our client the emails we had demanded. In ordering production, the court rejected defendant’s argument that because the plaintiff was harassed verbally, and not with email, the manager’s sending of racially or sexually offensive email was irrelevant. The Court accepted our client’s argument that the emails had to be produced because they were relevant to the manager’s state of mind, and ordered production.

A sample of our e-discovery demands are available online.

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