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No discrimination if worker didn’t suffer adverse action

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees who sue for bias must show that they suffered some harm from the discrimination they allege.

Recent case: Ebony, who is black, filed a lawsuit over alleged race dis­­crimination at work. She said co-workers made several offensive comments and her boss was rude to her.

As a result, Ebony used up her sick leave for stress-related absences. However, she continued to work in the same job and was even allowed to use sick leave her co-workers do­nated out of their entitlement when she had used up hers.

The court said because Ebony couldn’t show any adverse employment action—that is, harm—she couldn’t prevail on a discrimination claim. Nothing that happened to her was serious enough to constitute a hostile work environment. (Jackman v. Iowa, No. 12-3250, 8th Cir., 2013)

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