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No discrimination if worker didn’t suffer adverse action

by on
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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