Snubs alone don’t support discrimination lawsuits

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Some employees see every little slight as a major affront and think they are being discriminated against.

Fortunately, courts don’t want to be in the civility business—and they frequently toss out such cases.

Recent case: Lorena Walker, who is black, worked as a legal secretary in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Then an election brought in a new boss. 

Walker said new managers ignored some of her e-mails and made her wait for an hour before canceling a meeting she had scheduled. One supervisor also allegedly failed to greet Walker when he ran into a group of employees at a restaurant. Walker sued.

The court said none of those snubs constituted an adverse employment action. (Walker v. Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, No. 08-C-6600, ND IL, 2009)

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