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Just one stupid statement from boss can mean lawsuit

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in Human Resources

Here’s incentive to clamp down on supervisors who seem to be angry with their employees and who generally treat their subordinates poorly. Typically, being an equal opportunity yeller means no liability. But belligerent bosses are bound to slip up eventually.

Recent case: Bessy Flores, who is Hispanic, worked in a factory with a difficult supervisor. The boss frequently called his subordinates names and generally treated them very poorly. But, he targeted everyone.

Flores was one of several employees who sued for discrimination. She claimed that when she complained about the boss, he had bumped Flores to the night shift because she is Hispanic. The supervisor admitted it, saying he favored a white employee who was his friend and needed the day shift.

That comment was enough to send the claim to trial. (Diaz, et al., v. Kraft Foods, No. 08-C-6814, ND IL, 2010)

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