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Mere worker inconvenience doesn’t warrant a lawsuit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Denying a request to work from home is just an inconvenience for an em­­ployee. It’s not grounds for a law­­suit since it’s not an adverse employment action, doesn’t create a hostile work environment or justify quitting.

Recent case: When Monet was pregnant, she was moved from an office to a cubicle. She asked to work from home, but her request was denied. She quit and sued, alleging discrimination.

Her case was quickly tossed out since the court didn’t view either employer decision as “adverse”—just minor inconveniences inherent in working for an employer. (Dowrich-Weeks v. Copper Square Realty, No. 12-3952, 2nd Cir., 2013)

Final note: Worried about potential liability for what you do at work? Your best defense is keeping up-to-date on all things HR. Also check with your company’s liability insurer to make sure you are also covered by the policy.

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