E.D. Michigan Notes Split Re: Whether “Class of One” Claims Should be Allowed in the Employment Context

Partlo v. Clarkston Community Schools, 2007 WL 269447 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 26, 2007):

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees to each person "the right to be free of invidious discrimination." Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297, 322 (1980). Partlo has asserted his equal protection claim under a "class of one" theory. To present a claim as a "class of one," a plaintiff must demonstrate that he has been intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated and that there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment. Vill. of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000). A class of one claim differs from a more traditional equal protection claim because a class of one theory is based on disparate treatment directed at an individual, not at a group. Id. Although the circuits are split as to whether class of one claims should be allowed in the employment context, The Sixth Circuit has recognized "class of one" claims so long as they are sufficiently specific in identifying similarly situated individuals who received different treatment. Bower v. Vill, of Mt. Sterling, 2002 WL 1752270 (6th Cir. July 26, 2002); see also, Klimik v. Kent County Sheriff's Dept., 91 Fed. Appx. 396 (6th Cir.2004).


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