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Years-old comments won’t support discrimination claim

by on
in Firing,Human Resources

Everyone occasionally says something insensitive. Fortunately, verbal blunders can’t form the basis of a lawsuit if the comments occurred ages ago.

Recent case: Janice prepared surgical equipment at a hospital. Over the years, she had several ailments that required operations: knee surgery, carpal tunnel surgery, a hysterectomy and gastric bypass surgery. Following one operation, Janice’s supervisor casually remarked that she had experienced quite a few surgeries for one person, adding that gastric bypass surgery was risky.

Janice was fired several years later for too many unscheduled ab­­sences. She sued, alleging the statements proved her supervisor was looking for an excuse to terminate her.

The court didn’t buy it, considering how long ago the comments were made. (Gecewicz v. Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, No. 11-1065, 6th Cir., 2012)

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