• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Your informal promotion process: A legal red flag

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Included in HR Weekly e-letter -- June 26, 2007 issue (free article)

Most HR professionals recognize the legal risks of hiring outside applicants, but they often let down their guard when it comes to internal promotions.

That’s not wise, as shown by the increasing number of class-action lawsuits targeting informal promotion programs.

Promotions fall under the heading of “terms and conditions” of employment, meaning they’re covered by both state and federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII. So, if your promotion practices or policies are tainted by age, sex, race, religion or disability discrimination in any way, you’re a sitting duck.

Smart move: Post internal promotion opportunities. The law doesn’t require it but, by posting them, only employees who follow the posting’s directions can sue if you don’t select them.

If a company’s promotion process is informal, a court will likely allow employees to file failure-to-promote discrimination lawsuits even if the employee inquired only casually about the promotion and didn’t formally apply.

Recent case: Ronnie Goss sued for race discrimination, alleging his supervisor rejected his informal request for a promotion. The company didn’t post promotion opportunities.

His employer said Goss never formally applied and, therefore, couldn’t sue. The court disagreed. When an employer lacks a clear application process, the court said, even employees who ask informally for information on promotions can sue. (Goss v. Bernier, et seq., No. 05-CV-9592, SD NY, 2007)

Final tip: Require promotion applications in writing by a cutoff date.  

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/2340/your-informal-promotion-process-a-legal-red-flag "

Leave a Comment