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Mere ‘cold shoulder’ doesn’t a hostile environment make

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

Don’t worry too much about having a perfectly cordial workplace. As long as the workplace is relatively harmonious, courts won’t step in.

Recent case: Tracy Steinhauser worked as an account executive, selling radio advertising. When a new male supervisor arrived at the radio station, she felt he gave her the “cold shoulder” and gave more attention to male subordinates.

She sued, alleging a hostile environment and sex discrimination.

Steinhauser admitted that the supervisor never made any derogatory remarks directed at her or other women. Plus, there was no apparent difference in how men or women were assigned work.

The court dismissed Steinhauser’s case, concluding its job was not to serve as the station’s HR department. (Steinhauser v. KETK, No. 9:09-CV-49, ED TX, 2010)

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