When terminated through a reduction in force or for some other legitimate reason, overly sensitive employees may take a shot at filing a lawsuit over perceived slights, alleging they had been forced to work in a hostile work environment. Fortunately, it usually takes more than that to win.
Recent case: Fayerene, who is black, was laid off during a reduction in force. She had long complained about co-workers being disrespectful. She sued, alleging she had worked in a racially hostile environment.
Fayerene pointed to one comment she endured that she believed to be racial: When President Obama was elected, a co-worker said, “Greens for everybody.”
The court said that comment wasn’t enough to create a hostile work environment. (Gibson v. Verizon, No. 12-10334, 5th Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Required lactation breaks: How employers should comply
- Prepare for change when ADA Amendments Act takes effect next month
- Employee testifies in lawsuit: That's protected activity
- Hire education: A step-by-step guide to legally safe hiring practices