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When investigating bias, there’s fast … and too fast

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

You no doubt know you should act fast to investigate when employees complain about discrimination. But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to complete your inquiry in just one day.

Recent case: Vera Dixon, who is black, quit her job as a nursing assistant at a nursing facility. After running into trouble for unscheduled absences, she had asked for FMLA leave to treat uterine fibroids. Her request was denied and she complained that race was a factor. She believed white employees had been allowed FMLA leave.

The nursing facility opened an investigation and closed it almost immediately, informing Dixon that discrimination wasn’t a factor. Dixon made other allegations, with the same result.

She sued, alleging that her employer violated her rights again when it didn’t really investigate. The court allowed her claim to go forward. (Dixon v. Mount Olivet Careview Home, No. 09-1099, DC MN, 2010)

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