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Single stupid comment can tank legitimate decision

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Bosses who don’t have appropriate verbal filters can accidentally turn a legitimate management decision into evidence of discrimination.

Recent case: Dana, a deputy sheriff, wasn’t promoted to sergeant. A supervisor allegedly told her that she missed out because she wasn’t male and wasn’t Mexican-American. Dana sued for discrimination. The sheriff’s department argued it had legitimate reasons for preferring the employee it promoted.

But the court said Dana could take her case to trial based on the supervisor’s comment. It didn’t matter if the department also had legitimate reasons. (Camarillo v. Los Angeles, No. B252161, Court of Appeal of California, 2015)

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