Promptly fixed problem can’t be grounds for legal action

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Managing a workplace isn’t easy and not every assignment or schedule is completely fair.

Employees who complain about something that might otherwise be considered an adverse employment action can’t sue if their employer fixes the problem right away.

Recent case: Diana Brown, who is black, worked for Broward County as a police officer. She applied for a promotion and got it.

Then she complained that she had been unfairly scheduled to work a holiday that the collective-bargaining agreement said she should have off. The schedule was immediately changed and Brown got her holiday off.

Later, she was fired for insubordination. She sued for alleged race discrimination, citing the holiday incident.

The court tossed out her case, ruling that the department fixed the problem fast. Therefore, it wasn’t an adverse employment action. (Brown v. Lamberti, No. 09-60494, SD FL, 2010)

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