The University of South Florida has settled a discrimination claim brought by an academic advisor who was fired just 10 months shy of vesting her pension following a 30-year career with the Tampa-based university system.
Myrtice Landers was terminated for giving books worth $326 to a walk-on women’s basketball player whom Landers believed to be on a scholarship. The gift violated National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations governing student athletes.
But Landers, who is black, claimed that white employees who committed similar violations kept their jobs.
When she filed her discrimination claim, the university agreed to rescind the firing and place her on paid administrative leave while the school’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity investigated.
As part of the settlement, the university agreed to create a new position for Landers outside the athletic department.
Note: Always enforce workplace policies fairly and consistently. Any inconsistency, intentional or not, can easily be interpreted as discriminatory.
- Give managers a refresher on retaliation risks
- Well-meaning assistance won't always mean you view worker as 'disabled'
- Fire at will: The last straw doesn't have to be the same for all employees
- Suspect employee has relapsed into drug use? Never say so without proof
- Not all offenses are equal--make the punishment fit the 'crime'