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Timing of harassment in question? Check time cards to determine who could have seen what

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When employees file discrimination and harassment lawsuits, they have to prove that the things they claim happened actually did occur. Often, their memories may be a bit cloudy and they think they recall that others experienced the same thing they did.

They could simply be wrong, or they could be making it all up.

That’s where time records can come in handy. Consider, for example, a claim that a specific harassment incident occurred during a shift shared by other specific co-workers. Good time records may be able to show that would have been impossible.

Recent case: After Lionel Irons and Seth Martin were fired from their jobs at Aircraft Service International, both men claimed they had endured a racially hostile work environment.

They pointed to a weekend sometime between December 2005 and January 2006 when both men worked together.

They claimed they observed a noose hung near a fuel rack in their work area and said it was an attempt to intimidate black employees.

But the company presented pay records that showed the incident could not have occurred when the men said it did because they hadn’t worked the same weekend shift during the times in question.

The court dismissed the racial harassment claim even though the men then claimed their memories were off and the incident really happened several months earlier. (Irons, et al., v. Aircraft Service International, No. 09-30857, 5th Cir., 2010)

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