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Quick self-audit may allay discrimination fears

by on
in HR Management

When an employee complains about some form of discrimination, review the record to help you assess the claim. For example, if the employee says he didn’t get a promotion because his fe­male supervisor favors women, looking over her promotion practices won’t take long and can reassure you that the employee has no case.

Recent case: Wildfred Wharff claimed that his female supervisor promoted women more often than men—to the tune of 80% of the time. But when HR looked at all promotions the supervisor had recommended over re­cent years, the result was actually that she had promoted men 50% of the time.

Wharff sued, but got nowhere when the employer showed the court its analysis. (Wharff v. State University of New York, No. 09-4524, 2nd Cir., 2011)

Final note: When checking for gender bias in promotions, weigh your rec­­­ord against the actual proportion of men and women in the potential candidate pool.

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