Before you decide to throw the book at a difficult employee for breaking a rule, make sure you have enforced it the same way for all similarly situated employees. Otherwise, the employee you’re cracking down on may be able to make a credible claim for discrimination or retaliation.
Recent case: Lloyd Thomas helped another employee at a Fort Hood medical facility file an EEOC discrimination complaint.
Shortly after he let a supervisor know he had assisted in the case, he was removed from his position as an acting clinical director. The Army said the reason was that Thomas didn’t have the appropriate degree to legally manage the clinic.
Thomas was replaced by two acting directors. The first replacement had the appropriate degree, but the second did not. In fact, he had less experience and education than Thomas did.
Thomas sued, alleging retaliation for helping the co-worker with his EEOC case.
Thomas argued that he had been singled out for removal when his second replacement technically did not meet the job’s legal requirements.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said that it could be retaliation to punish someone after engaging in protected activity. However, it dismissed the case based on the fact that, when Thomas filed his lawsuit, the Army didn’t yet know that his second replacement also lacked the proper degree. It only found out later. (Thomas v. Geren, No. 09-50877, 5th Cir., 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/12608/dont-leave-yourself-open-to-retaliation-claims-enforce-work-rules-equitably-for-all-employees "
- Build a legal wall against the flood of retaliation lawsuits
- Sample Policy: Terminations
- HR pros, take note: Doing your job isn't 'Protected activity'
- No contract with employees? Feel free to change terms of employment
- Employees filed job-discrimination complaints with EEOC in near-record numbers last year