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.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Base firing on solid evidence of wrongdoing
- When making layoff decisions, focus on worker performance, cite business necessity
- Special performance measures deviate from usual practice? Be sure to document reason
- Accept public funds? Then don't use religion as basis for making employment decisions