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Hunch about societal racism isn’t enough to make bias case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

With poor economic times come layoffs and reassignments. When these adverse events hit home, some employees may suspect they’ve experienced discrimination.

But unless they have something concrete to hang their cases on, courts will toss out such cases. Simply put, a mere “hunch” that discrimination lies behind an adverse action won’t go far.

Recent case: James Morgan, who is black, worked as a school-safety manager. When the school district cut its budget, Morgan was one of several employees who lost their jobs.

Morgan sued for race discrimination. His “proof”: He told the court he knew there was illegal discrimination based on his experience “growing up black in our society.” The judge said that wasn’t good enough to justify continuing the lawsuit. (Morgan v. York City School District, No. 1:07-CV-1211, MD PA, 2009)

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