Mcknight V. United Parcel Service, Inc.

  • Court: United States District Court, Florida Middle, Orlando
  • Case number: 6:22cv622
  • Filed: March 29, 2022
  • Judge: Judge Paul G. Byron
  • Magistrate: Magistrate Judge Robert M. Norway
  • Case type: Employment (442)
  • Cause: Job Discrimination (Race)

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff: Keith N. McKnight
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Bradley Abraham Tobin
  • Defendant: United Parcel Service, Inc.
    • Counsel for Defendant: Sherrill May Colombo | Kimberly J. Doud | Mikayla Elizabeth Almeida | Nancy A. Johnson | Nicole Bermel Dunlap

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: June 7, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to the Plaintiff: $0.00

About the Case


Keith McKnight, an African American male, started working for UPS around September 2015 and was promoted to package delivery driver by October 2016. He consistently performed his duties effectively and received recognition.

On December 5, 2020, his supervising manager, Nicole Strickland, verbally attacked him and ordered him to leave the building. As he was leaving, she continued her hostile and unfounded accusations about his job performance, falsely claiming they violated company policies.

Following this incident, McKnight faced increased disparate treatment based on his race, including undue scrutiny, bullying, intimidation, frivolous accusations, and threats of discipline or termination. Despite his complaints, UPS did not address his concerns, allowing the hostile environment to worsen in retaliation.

The harassment included demeaning remarks, excessive micromanagement, impediments to job performance and safety, denial of income opportunities, and fabricated incidents aimed at justifying his termination. McKnight was disproportionately surveilled compared to his co-workers, with UPS falsely citing safety concerns despite his recognition as a safe driver.

UPS’s scrutiny included filming McKnight during lunch breaks and assigning him trucks with mechanical problems, sometimes appearing sabotaged. His complaints about unsafe vehicles were ignored, fitting a pattern of ostracism. UPS also impeded his overtime opportunities and enforced a policy that hindered his delivery efficiency and safety.

Despite his continued complaints, including to the EEOC in January 2021, the harassment persisted. A manager threatened him after contacting the EEOC.

In June 2021, UPS placed him on involuntary paid leave, citing mental fitness concerns despite his compliance with the Employee Assistance Program. In January 2022, UPS ceased paying McKnight and terminated his medical insurance without notice. On March 21, 2022, McKnight received a termination letter falsely claiming an unauthorized leave of absence.

McKnight made numerous attempts to contact human resources agent, Patty Farrar but received no response. These actions by UPS reflected illegal motives to discriminate and retaliate against him, leading to claims for violations of Title VII of Civil Rights Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA), 1992, and 42 U.S.C. Section 1981. ​


Plaintiff endured and continued to endure damages due to Defendant’s ongoing, unwarranted harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Defendant’s pervasive racial discrimination caused Plaintiff tangible job detriment. Plaintiff faced unwelcome disparate treatment based on race and color compared to non-African American co-workers. This discriminatory treatment unreasonably interfered with Plaintiff’s work environment.


Plaintiff suffered damages due to Defendant’s conduct. Therefore, Plaintiff requested the court to enjoin Defendant from violating Section 1981, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA), 1964 and Title VII. Additionally, Plaintiff sought a trial by jury, back pay with prejudgment interest, and compensatory damages for emotional distress. Plaintiff also requested reinstatement, punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees under Title VII. Finally, Plaintiff asked for any other relief the court deemed just and equitable.

Jury Verdict

On June 7, 2024, a Florida jury held that the Plaintiff had not been successful in proving that his referral for Fitness for Duty Evaluation constituted an adverse employment action. Additionally, it was found that the Plaintiff was unable to prove that allegation that UPS would not have terminated his employment but for his protected activity.

Court Documents:

Available upon request