You can’t just shrug off co-worker conflicts. Instead, carefully document the problem just in case an employee sues. You’ll be able to show that personality, not discrimination, is the reason for an employee’s problems.
Recent case: Dozie Chukwuka, a black engineer, had trouble getting along with his supervisors. One of them documented the efforts he made to get Chukwuka to meet deadlines. Chukwuka responded to each criticism by accusing his supervisor of professional jealousy.
Eventually, he sued when he didn’t get a promotion he believed he deserved. He alleged race discrimination.
But the court said the problem wasn’t race discrimination—the problem was Chukwuka’s personality and generally poor work. The court dismissed his case. (Chukwuka v. City of New York, No. 08-CV-2095, ED NY, 2010)
- Shift swapping reasonably accommodates religious days off
- Vague complaints not enough to trigger retaliation protection
- Worker is her own lawyer? Take suit seriously
- Lesson from 'I'm too sexy for my shirt' case: Be alert to female-on-male harassment
- Notice date--not workers' last day--starts lawsuit calendar