Non-Hispanic woman named Garcia loses discrimination case

March 1, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has rejected a discrimination claim by a former public school bus driver who says she was fired because she is not Hispanic, even though her last name is Garcia.

In a ruling Thursday, the court found insufficient evidence to show discriminatory action in the dismal of the bus driver Natalie Garcia by Hatch Valley Public Schools in southern New Mexico. It noted job performance problems.

Garcia describes her national origin as German and says she is not of Hispanic ethnicity.

The court says Garcia has the right to claim discrimination as a non-Hispanic under the state Human Rights Act. The unanimous ruling notes that reverse discrimination claims face the same burden of proof as a claim brought by a member of a racial minority.

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