OfficeMax faces EEOC suit for Sarasota retaliation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The manager of a Sarasota-area OfficeMax made life so miserable for an employee who filed a racial discrimination claim that he was forced to resign, according to the EEOC. Now it’s suing on the man’s behalf.

The EEOC suit maintains a Hispanic store employee filed an internal complaint with OfficeMax’s HR department and was fired shortly afterward. The company agreed to rehire the man, but the store manager allegedly began a campaign of retaliation.

The suit claims the manager disciplined the man for actions other employees performed without consequences, made false accusations against the employee and reduced his hours. The employee quit, claiming he could no longer work at OfficeMax.

The EEOC attempted to settle the dispute through its conciliation process, but those efforts failed. Now the lawsuit is headed for court.

Note: Employers that reinstate employees following discrimination complaints should expect some hard feelings. That’s natural. Be proactive with both the employee and his or her managers. Let them know what kind of behavior is and is not acceptable. That alone can prevent many retaliation complaints.

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Mike September 16, 2012 at 7:56 am

Just SOP for OfficeMax. If someone had a listing of those laid off in 2008, bet it would reflect those with various degrees of disabilities, those who may have had work comp filings in the past, and probably some racial and other discriminatory choices. Oh sure, they blew smoke by supposedly requiring everyone to interview for the new limited positions, but made some very questionable choices. They threw in a big ‘our lawyers can beat up your lawyers’ thing to try and scare everyone. But would love to see Glassdoor or some other site take a survey…

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