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Don’t sweat the small stuff: It’s no basis for lawsuits

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees seem to think they are entitled to a perfect workplace, free from any conflict or unpleasantness. But that isn’t true. Heck, it’s not even possible!

Courts rarely indulge such claims. They’d rather sort out real discrimination and harassment cases, not waste time on hypersensitive employees.

Recent case: Barbara Rosinski, who is disabled, was laid off from her job when the economy slumped.

She sued, alleging that back in the 1990s, fellow employees had made insensitive remarks. Plus, before she was terminated, she had received a plaque honoring company achievements that wasn’t personalized. Apparently the plaques awarded to other employees had their names inscribed on them.

The court tossed out her harassment claims, pointing out that the company had stopped the co-worker insensitivity years before and that the plaque incident was minor. (Rosinski v. American Axle, No. 09-4569, 2nd Cir., 2010)

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