Typically, employees need to show some pattern of discriminatory comments or behavior to carry a sex discrimination charge in court. But, as the following case proves, one stray remark that occurs near the time of the alleged discrimination can spark a successful lawsuit.
Recent case: As a female plant inspector left a meeting where she was told she wouldn't be promoted, she allegedly overhead a supervisor saying that women should be kept "barefoot and pregnant." She sued for sex discrimination. A lower court tossed out the case, but the 7th Circuit Appeals Court let the case proceed to a jury. Such a comment is clearly derogatory toward working women, the court said, and suggests that the supervisor didn't want women in the workplace.
Ordinarily, such stray comments wouldn't necessarily support discrimination, but this set of remarks did, the court said, because they were "so close in time and substance" to the alleged act of discrimination. (Volovsek v. Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, No. 02-2074 , 7th Cir., 2003)
Bottom line: Remind managers to speak professionally or don't speak at all. One stupid remark can cost the organization big bucks and cost them their jobs.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/458/barefoot-pregnant-and-in-court-how-one-dumb-remark-turns-the-tide "
- Misconduct is the key to enforcing your 'no rehire' policy
- Don't fear legit discipline after employee complains
- New Hanover hospital sued for disability discrimination
- Hiring friends, family not illegal—Unless race factors in
- He said, she said: What if they both did? Trust investigation to reveal harassment truth