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Equality also applies to return-to-work situations

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Equal treatment is the rule when dealing with similarly situated employees who quit and then try to return to work.

Recent case: Autumn Eaton worked as a corrections officer. Following a car accident, she had trouble walking.

Prison officials assigned Eaton to another cell block, where she would have to walk extensively. She ex­­plained her restrictions, but was told if she didn’t accept the assignment, she would have to turn in her badge. She did and left—but then tried to return for the next scheduled shift. She was blocked at the door.

She sued, alleging sex discrimination. She cited a man who kept his job after refusing an assignment, walking out and then returning an hour later.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said that was evidence of possible sex discrimination. (Eaton v. Indiana Department of Corrections, No. 10-3214, 7th Cir., 2011)

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