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Lawsuit looming? Tell all: Keep opinions to yourself

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

When employees complain about alleged discrimination, it’s easy for managers and even other co-workers to get angry. Warn everyone to keep their opinions to themselves. Reacting angrily and then punishing those who complain for having a poor attitude is most certainly not a good idea.

Recent case: When two female professors at Xavier University filed EEOC complaints alleging sex discrimination within their department, other professors and the department head saw the move as “uncivil” and unbecoming of the conduct expected in a collegiate atmosphere.

The women were eventually fired. They sued, alleging retaliation.

The court said their case should go to a jury, based on testimony that the college provost and others said going to the EEOC was disruptive and not collegial. (Finch, et al., v. Xavier University, No. 1:07-CV-987, SD OH, 2010)

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