Is it a personality conflict or discrimination? Let investigation guide your response

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

There are times when a supervisor and a subordinate simply can’t get along. Seldom does such a contentious relationship end well.

But just because a supervisor is harsh, unkind or even demeaning and condescending toward her subordinate doesn’t mean discrimination is a factor.

It’s important for HR to distinguish between a personality conflict and discrimination. The former is cause for concern because it is disruptive and counterproductive. But the latter must be dealt with immediately and firmly—because it’s illegal.

Take seriously every employee complaint and investigate. Ask yourself: Is the supervisor having trouble with one subordinate or several? If just one, discrimination may be an under­ly­ing motivation. But if several subordinates belonging to different pro­tected classes complain, you prob­ably have an equal-opportunity bully boss on your hands.

Come up with a solution based on the underlying motivation for the b...(register to read more)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nona April 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Conflicts in the workplace are getting worse, as jobs get more scarce.


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