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Merely speaking about need for diversity isn’t protected

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Performance Reviews

Fired employees with vengeance on their minds often go looking for a reason to sue. They often latch on to the charge that they complained about discrimination and then were punished.

As the following case shows, it takes more than a casual mention of diversity to constitute a protected action.

Recent case: Tony Hood, who is black, was having performance problems. Then, at a town hall-style meeting, Hood raised his hand and asked upper management why there wasn’t much being done to promote diversity in his department.

After Hood was fired, he sued, alleging retaliation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

The court dismissed Hood’s case because his comment didn’t amount to protected activity. (Hood v. Pfizer, No. 08-1434, 3rd Cir., 2009)

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