A black female Michigan National Guard member has won a discrimination suit against the head of the guard, Maj. Gen. Thomas Cutler, and one of his top deputies, alleging they hired a less qualified white man for an airfield manager’s position.
Cutler’s deputy hired a flight engineer instructor with no airfield experience for the job. Thelma Daniel, the National Guard flight services specialist who sued, worked directly under the outgoing airfield manager, and for several months she had done the job four out of five days a week in preparation for her boss’s retirement.
An administrative judge ruled Cutler tried to stall the investigation, dragging out Daniel’s case. Daniel will receive back pay plus $25,000 for emotional harm, and get the job she sought.
Final note: Bulletproof your hiring decisions with documented, nondiscriminatory criteria that directly relate to the job.
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- Look for hiring trends that could signal bias—you might just avoid a huge jury award
- Make bosses justify hiring, promotion choices
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- Look into all bias complaints; even 'nontargets' can sue