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Remove bias suspicion: Make firing a group decision

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employers that use a team to carry out termination decisions may have an advantage.

Recent case: George Dulin, who is white, lost his job of two decades as an attorney for a hospital. When a black attorney replaced him, he sued for race discrimination.

He claimed that two years before he was terminated, a civil rights organization had demanded that a hospital official hire a black attorney. That, Dulin argued, meant that he must have been fired because he is white.

The court dismissed his case. The hospital board that fired Dulin consisted of five members, only one of whom had heard the demand for a black attorney. All five members approved Dulin’s termination. The court said Dulin had to prove that at least three board members were influenced by race, not just one. (Dulin v. Board of Commissioners, No. 10-60095, 5th Cir., 2011)

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