Courts are losing patience with employees who are overly sensitive when it comes to joking and off-color comments in the workplace. That’s particularly true when the victim doesn’t belong to a class with a long history of suffering harassment.
Courts are tossing out flimsy lawsuits because it’s not their role to manage workplaces.
Recent case: Jesudas, an Indian-American man, lost his job with the city of Sacramento and sued. He claimed he had suffered from a hostile work environment. He cited as an example a single co-worker comment that he personally found offensive. Apparently the co-worker joked that Jesudas was so sensitive that he had to be protected at all times and therefore should be provided with an armored vehicle.
The court said that wasn’t enough to warrant a lawsuit. (Chacko v. City of Sacramento, No. 2:12-CV-02881, ED CA, 2013)
- Foreign managers? Warn them against age bias
- Faith events require reasonable accommodation
- Warn managers never to disclose medical info about former workers
- Go ahead and trim the tree--while keeping your party liability-free
- Make sure employees understand policy and process for reporting sexual harassment