• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Focus on facts when promoting; avoid subjective ‘Better qualified’ justification

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Internal promotions are tricky. Supervisors usually try to choose between two or three known candidates—subordinates with whom they have worked with day in and day out. It’s tempting, then, to choose the employee who seems the most cooperative and the best team player.

Resist that temptation. Instead, have supervisors focus on objective measures such as sales figures and project completion.

Relying on subjective, gut-level statements—“He’s the best qualified”—is dangerous, especially if the department has almost always promoted members of a particular demographic. That gut feeling may be the old boys’ network rearing its subconscious head.

Recent case: Giovanni Veliz was born in Ecuador but moved to the United States in 1979. He joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 1992 and worked as a patrol officer until he was promoted to sergeant. Because he is fluent in Spanish, he worked as a liaison with the Hispanic community and was often assigned to drug and gang duty.

Then he filed an EEOC complaint alleging he had been discriminated against because of his national origin. He even held a press conference announcing his subsequent federal lawsuit.

Shortly after, the police department passed over Veliz when he applied for an open position with the Strike Force, an elite assignment. Instead, it selected a white sergeant with far less experience. It turned out that no minority sergeants had ever made it to the Strike Force.

Veliz promptly added retaliation to his lawsuit.

The police department said it selected the white candidate because he was better qualified and because Veliz was not “a motivated sergeant” who impressed his superiors with his work ethic.

That wasn’t good enough for the court, which viewed the police department’s subjective selection criteria as suspicious. A jury will now decide whether those criteria were just a way to cover up discrimination. (Veliz v. City of Minneapolis, No. 07-2376, DC MN, 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/6012/focus-on-facts-when-promoting-avoid-subjective-better-qualified-justification "

Leave a Comment