Boston-based IT services provider Keane Inc. faces a discrimination suit because of what a manager didn’t say when an employee announced she was pregnant with twins.
The employee, who worked as a recruiter from her home in Columbus, made the announcement during a conference call with five co-workers. When the others offered congratulations, her manager said nothing. What’s more, the manager never discussed the matter with her at all.
Two months later, the manager fired her as part of a work force reduction, citing her lack of seniority and low-growth territory. The woman sued, and Keane won summary judgment in 2005. But in an unusual ruling, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, based in part on the manager’s silence during the meeting and afterward, when he failed to inquire how the employee planned to manage and whether the company could do anything to help her.
After your eye stops twitching, resist the temptation to tear up your employee handbook and start over. It’s still best to let pregnant employees broach the subject of how they’ll deal with pregnancy and parenting, or what accommodations they might need. But managers should note that clamming up doesn’t shield them from all harm—and nobody ever went to court for saying, “Congratulations!”
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/2817/turns-out-what-you-dont-say-can-hurt-you "
- Operating in Texas and Louisiana? Don't rely on union contract to handle safety
- Warn managers not to advise employees on litigation
- Track qualifications to prove candidate was best for job
- Radical change to worker's schedule lets him win unemployment benefits
- Understand, prepare to follow the new revised FMLA regulations