Bosses may not like it, but employees have the right to complain about their working conditions. Characterizing those complaints as unfounded gossip doesn’t change that—and should never be a reason for termination unless you can absolutely prove that the employee knowingly made false statements.
Recent case: Zuku worked for an auto parts distributor and hurt his back while retrieving a part from a shelf. He took workers’ compensation leave.
Zuku is a black man from Africa, and speaks with an accent. He claimed his supervisor often made fun of the way he spoke, telling him, “We speak English here.” Zuku complained toabout the comments and claimed that black employees were not treated as well as white employees. He made similar complaints to the EEOC.
When he was fired, he sued, alleging that he had been terminated in retaliation for engaging in protected activity.
At the meeting during which he got his termination notice, his supervisor allegedly stated that he was being fired for “spreading rumors” about discrimination that, in fact, wasn’t taking place.
The court said that the comment on spreading rumors was direct evidence that his complaints motivated his discharge. In other words, the comments helped prove that he was fired for raising discrimination issues with his supervisors as well as the EEOC. (Yalley v. Ozark Automotive Distributors, No. 11-1961, DC MN, 2013)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/34614/beware-firing-for-spreading-rumors-about-bias "
- Refer to the rule book: Hiring and promotion policies belong in your employee handbook
- Constructive Discharge
- Make sure your policy is understood before rejecting applicants because of bankruptcy
- No need to get employees' OK before misconduct investigations
- After 8 years, $1 million ends harassment suit