Even a single comment can be enough to keep a sex discrimination case going—especially if the commentator happens to be a supervisor with firing authority.
Recent case: Caroline, who is white, worked in counseling. She asked for and received adoption leave. On her return, the employer had reorganized and duties were reassigned. A man essentially replaced Caroline.
Then the executive director told Caroline she could retain part of her duties because she had gotten “good at” the task. But he added that the man was assigned to take over Caroline’s old supervisory functions because “he’s a man.”
She sued—and that comment alone was enough to send the case forward. (Roy v. Soar, No. 13-2846, ED PA, 2014)