Employees who believe
That’s why it’s so important for employers to proactively ensure that they enforce all rules equitably and fairly—so no employee can claim she was singled out for harsh punishment.
But being fair and impartial doesn’t necessarily mean simply falling back on a strict interpretation of your work rules. The key to fairness (and avoiding having to defend yourself against discrimination charges) is your willingness to mete out similar punishment for every employee who breaks the same or nearly identical rules.
Advice: Track all discipline to see whether similar violations netted everyone similar punishment. Then document the justification for each decision.
Recent case: Georgia McCann, who is black, worked as a correctional officer and was on her way to work when she learned that her son had been arrested in another county. She got emergency leave and, still wearing her official uniform, drove directly to the jail where her son was incarcerated. At the jail, she attempted to use her position to help her son and apparently verbally abused the sheriff, who then complained to McCann’s boss.
McCann’s employer suspended her and did not allow her to work overtime for 90 days. She also was barred from a scheduled promotion.
She sued, alleging race discrimination. McCann said two white employees had received milder punishment when they committed similar offenses.
But the court looked at each of the cases and concluded that each was very different. One white officer got into a fight while off duty. Another used obscenities when speaking to a civilian. Neither was suspended.
However, as the court explained, the white officers had not been in uniform in public when they misbehaved, nor had they tried to use their positions for personal gain. Thus neither white officer broke the same or nearly identical rule McCann had. The court ruled in favor of the employer. (McCann v. Tillman, et al., No. 07-11743, 11th Cir., 2008)
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/5123/track-discipline-by-offense-worker-traits-to-reduce-bias-risk "
- Supervisor deserves termination? Fire away--even if he's a member of a protected class
- Insist whistle-blowers use internal process before suing or calling authorities
- Sexist remarks plus denied opportunities can add up to a hostile environment
- I'm Dead. Now What?
- Don't factor in FMLA when making RIF list