Diversifying the workforce is a worthy goal, but beware of the legal implications when importing overseas standards.
If you do not train your supervisors, managers, and others in how to response to workplace harassment, you will have a difficult time avoiding liability when things go wrong.
Unlike diamonds, email messages aren’t forever, but they are pretty darn close.
Federal judges, many of whom served in the military, do not look kindly when employers trample that sacrifice through acts of discrimination
If you do nothing other than apply a blanket policy, you will have a hard time showing a court that you engaged in the required individualized assessment.
Extreme flatulence is one thing, but when you factor in 'uncontrollable diarrhea,' what else was this employer supposed to do?
Kevin Stuckey, an African-American, worked for AutoZone Inc. as a salesperson and then as a manager. During his employment, Stuckey was transferred to multiple stores in Chicago. Following his transfer in July 2012, in which his pay and job responsibilities were supposed to remain the same, Stuckey never returned to work. Instead he filed a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge of discrimination claiming that his transfer was initiated because of his race. The EEOC filed a lawsuit on Stuckey’s behalf, claiming that Stuckey’s transfer was part of a plan to “limit, segregate or classify” employees on the basis of race. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment to AutoZone, holding that even in a disparate impact case, the employees must show that they suffered an adverse action. The court held that there was no evidence that Stuckey’s transfer resulted in an objectively humiliating or degrading change in working conditions. EEOC v. AutoZone Inc., No. 14-cv-5579(Aug. 4, 2015).
IMPACT: Transferring employees to different locations is a legitimate business reason as long as it does not result in an objectively humiliating or degrading change in working conditions for the employee based on some protected classification such as race or sex.
Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis are partners in the law firm Barlow, Kobata and Denis, which has offices in Beverly Hills, California, and Chicago.To comment, email email@example.com.
An ostracism from a social network likely should not support a claim for retaliation.
Employees who request accommodations should always be treated with care; otherwise you risk stepping on a retaliation land mine.