Keep consistent records of all disciplinary actions

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

You must track all disciplinary actions. That way, you can quickly determine whether your discipline has been equitable.

Recent case: Michael Robinson, who is black, was accused of sexual harassment. Three female co-workers said he asked them whether they would like to see photos of his genitals. Management heard about the complaints and confronted Robinson, who admitted the allegations. That was enough to fire him.

Robinson sued for discrimination, blaming his dismissal on race bias.

But his employer showed that it had never issued less severe pun­­ish­­ment to anyone accused of similar conduct. The only other case in­­volved a white employee who allegedly made an obscene gesture at a woman, who never complained to management. The employer argued that it hadn’t punished that employee because it never knew about the incident. That got Robinson’s case tossed out. (Robinson v. Iredell County, No. 5:09-CV-131, WD NC, 2011)

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