Have you ever been frustrated that your CEO doesn’t seem to care about the, , ADA or any other of those magic compliance acronyms?
What if the boss gets tired of your helpful suggestions to get in compliance ... and decides to send you packing?
There is some hope for HR professionals caught in this no-win situation. As the following court ruling shows, if you are fired for insisting that the company comply with anti-discrimination laws, you can likely sue for retaliation or whistleblower violations.
The case: An Ohio company hired Eugene, a 30-year veteran of the HR field, to help “cure a toxic workplace environment replete with systemic discrimination and other illegal conduct.”
Once on board, Eugene agreed that the company was indeed discriminating against just about everyone, including women, older workers and the disabled. He also said the company punished anyone who took.
When Eugene pointed out the problems to, he claimed that a senior exec told him the company didn’t intend on complying with these laws because the company, as the exec put it, “never had to write a big enough check to justify compliance with the rules.”
Eugene was then fired, and he sued.
A federal appeals court sided with Eugene, saying he should have his day in court to prove that he experienced retaliation for reporting discrimination and insisting it stop. (Rhodes v. R&L Carriers)
Final note: Time will tell if a jury will make the company write a big enough check to clean up its toxic workplace after all.
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