When someone gets fired because a co-worker complained about discrimination, other employees may get upset. Frequently, they don’t know the back story and may ostracize the employee who originally complained about discrimination. That’s especially true if the terminated employee was well liked.
However, courts generally won’t consider it an adverse employment action if workers give the complaining employee the “silent treatment,” avoid him during breaks or withdraw previous social invitations—as long as nothing else substantial changes.
Recent case: Ernesto Mendoza, who is of Mexican origin, worked for AutoZone. He complained tothat his supervisor criticized him for speaking Spanish and referred to Spanish-speaking customers as “your people” when talking to Mendoza.
AutoZone investigated and terminated the supervisor. Then Mendoza claimed his co-workers began avoiding him and made him feel unwelcome, presumably because they viewed him as the reason the supervisor was fired. However, Mendoza admitted that after some time passed, his relationship with the co-workers warmed and things were back to normal.
Still, he sued, alleging that the company was responsible for his co-workers’ poor behavior and that he had been punished for his complaint. Plus, Mendoza—who had been passed over for several promotions—blamed his lack of advancement on discrimination.
The court disagreed and said that such temporary ostracism isn’t the sort of thing that constitutes discrimination or retaliation.
The court also concluded, based on the employer’s explanation that Mendoza had a poor attendance and performance record, that he had been passed over for legitimate business reasons in favor of other employees who were better qualified. It dismissed the case. (Mendoza v. AutoZone, No. 3:08-CV-2321, ND OH, 2010)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/11909/getting-silent-treatment-isnt-adverse-action "