Life can be unfair and the workplace is no exception. Sadly, employers can’t stamp out all unfairness.
Recent case: Johnny, a disabled veteran over age 59, worked part time for a library system for six years. During that time, he catalogued several petty gripes about working conditions, including an incident in which he was told he couldn’t wear gardening gloves to work even though a woman was allowed to wear lacy, feminine gloves.
After his hours were cut, he sued, alleging age discrimination and a hostile work environment. But Johnny couldn’t tie any of his complaints to age. His case was dismissed. (Rothrock v. Caldwell County, No. 5:11-CV-121, WD NC, 2012)
- Steer clear of blanket hiring policies that stymie disabled applicants
- Hasty retirement benefits offer may show retaliation
- Heaven-sent policy advice for supervisors: No proselytizing or urging workers to convert
- Better be prepared to justify unequal treatment
- Give HR the last word on terminations: Supervisor bias can taint firing decisions