Courts don’t want an employee to lose a legitimate discrimination case just because she couldn’t afford an attorney. That’s why courts often allow jury trials for cases in which an employee represents herself. However, once a jury has heard the case, chances are that’s the end of the matter.
B.J. Con-Sew faces national-origin harassment charges after a Hispanic employee claims he was forced to resign to avoid daily harassment. The employee claims he complained to various managers, but no investigation or assistance was forthcoming. Eventually, he quit and filed charges with the EEOC.
The EEOC is suing Pantego-based Tideland Electric Membership Corp., claiming it failed to accommodate a disabled employee. Jeffrey Erdman suffers from a chronic pain condition, but with the help of prescription painkillers, he was able to perform his job as an apprentice lineman. However, when Tideland learned of Erdman’s condition and the narcotic prescribed for his pain, it fired him.
Salisbury-based trucking firm A.C. Widenhouse faces charges it allowed racial harassment of black drivers who allege managers and co-workers frequently addressed them using racial epithets.
When employees hear rumors that business is down, they often worry that jobs will be cut. One trick they sometimes use is to rattle a few chains and start complaining about discrimination. Don’t let that interfere with plans already in place for a layoff or other workplace changes that you know aren’t related to discrimination. Just make sure you have adequate documentation to explain when the layoff decision was made and why.
No doubt you have heard about the Facebook posting cases in which employers have been sued for punishing employees for their social networking activities. Some decisions make it seem like employees can post anything they want. Fortunately, that’s not true.
Managers at the Dillard’s department store in Cary have learned the hard way that forcing out older workers simply because of their age doesn’t pay.
Earlier this year, we told you about a North Carolina religious harassment case that was dismissed because the judge felt the alleged harassment wasn’t serious enough to warrant a lawsuit. The EEOC asked the court to reconsider its decision and it did, ordering the lawsuit reinstated.
Management may breathe a sigh of relief if an employee quits after alleging some form of harassment or discrimination and then doesn’t march to the nearest courthouse right away. But before they thank their lucky stars, consider this: The former employee may show up years later, looking for a job—and a retaliation lawsuit.
Employees who don’t apply for a job or promotion generally can’t sue over the lost opportunity. But if promotions are never announced and there’s no process to apply, employees and applicants can sue. That’s why it is crucial to have some sort of application process in place that allows you to track applications and prove who applied—and by default, who did not.