Tell bosses: Sexist comments can come back to haunt you

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

If you haven’t recently reminded supervisors to keep anti-female comments to themselves, here’s a recent case
you can cite. Such comments will be viewed as direct evidence of discrimination. That practically guarantees a lawsuit if the employee is ever fired.

Recent case: Brenda Boutwell worked for Advance Construction Services. When her boyfriend, who also worked there, walked off the job, they were both fired.

Boutwell sued for sex discrimination, claiming her supervisor had told her that women didn’t belong in construction and that she was just there as a favor to her boyfriend. She said he had also told her if her boyfriend ever quit, she would lose her job.

That testimony was enough for a judge to let her lawsuit continue—the supervisor’s statement was direct discrimination evidence. (Boutwell v. Advance Construction, No. 3:07-CV-444, ND FL, 2009)

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