Employees who claim they have been discriminated against because of a protected characteristic such as age or disability have to show that they suffered an adverse employment action such as discharge or demotion.
They can’t simply point to a poor evaluation. As the following case shows, employers must to be able to criticize employees for the good of the company and the employees.
Recent case: Freddie Spruill is a 57-year-old security guard. When Spruill’s supervisor did his annual, he told Spruill he needed to improve. Spruill sued, alleging age discrimination. He tried to argue that the poor appraisal was an adverse employment action.
The court dismissed the case, concluding criticism “is part of training and necessary to allow employees to develop, improve and avoid discipline.…” (Spruill v. New York City Health and Hospitals, No. 06-CIV-11362, SD NY, 2008)
- Limit requests for employees to prove religious need to be exempt from grooming code
- Better late than never: Stop long-simmering racial hostility as soon as you discover it
- L.A. approves $1.5 million police harassment settlement
- When promotions are on the line, follow your criteria and beware supervisor bias
- Sexist remarks plus denied opportunities can add up to a hostile environment