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School ‘accident’ leads to suit against Brunswick County

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Anna Stanley used to work for the Brunswick County school system as a teaching assistant. She was terminated after an incident in which a third-grader wet his pants and sat in them for three hours.

After investigating complaints from the boy’s parents, the Board of Education fired her in March 2008.

Stanley, who is black, claims the incident resulted from a misunderstanding with the child, and that she did not realize he had urinated on himself. She alleges that similar situations involving white employees did not result in termination.

She has filed race discrimination charges under state law in Brunswick County Superior Court.

Note: Although it is not clear that any racial discrimination occurred in this case, employers should monitor their employee disciplinary actions to ensure no prejudice is involved. You can conduct an informal test of your disciplinary actions by presenting the facts to someone unfamiliar with the cases without revealing the race of anyone involved. If disinterested third parties consistently feel one group is being treated differently than another, it may be time to take action.

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