Do you keep a close record of all company job openings, how they’re posted and who responds? You should.
Good records are the best way to show you didn’t purposely exclude from a promotion opportunity anyone who was qualified—or to show that they never applied in the first place.
Recent case: Carol Miranda started work as a temporary executive administrative assistant for Infineon Technologies shortly before being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her boss told her that as soon as he had an opening, he would make her a permanent employee, eligible for benefits.
Miranda was out for treatment twice, and each time returned to her temporary position. Her boss tried to persuadeto add a permanent position to his division, but he was rebuffed. He never told management about Miranda’s cancer.
Meanwhile, several executive administrative assistant positions opened up within the company and were posted on the company’s intranet. But either Miranda didn’t see the postings, or she didn’t bother applying. Instead, she sued, alleging the company was discriminating against her due to her diagnosis.
The court tossed out the case, reasoning that Miranda didn’t apply for open positions in other divisions, and that none opened in her division for her to transfer to. (Miranda v. Infineon Technologies, No. H030566, Court of Appeal of California, 2007)