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)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Stillwater schools settle age discrimination lawsuit
- OK to fire for insubordination, even if employee has filed discrimination complaint
- Retaliation after 4 years have gone by? Yes, in some cases
- Don't let bias complaint stop legit discipline