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Diverse workplaces may spur additional lawsuits

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employers are discovering that having a diverse workplace may mean more lawsuits. Why? Employees belonging to groups that traditionally haven’t experienced discrimination may find more reasons to sue.

Recent case: Robert Schwartz, a white man over the age of 60, was on the adjunct faculty at the City Uni­­­­­ver­­sity of New York. When a position as director of student activities opened up, Schwartz applied. As one of the top four candidates, he was offered an interview. The other candidates were two black women and one black man. The oldest black woman was eventually selected. She was just three years younger than Schwartz.

Schwartz sued, alleging age, sex and race discrimination.

The court dismissed the case after he failed to show that any of the other candidates wasn’t qualified. It wasn’t enough that they belonged to another pro­­­­­tected class. (Schwartz v. York County, No. 06-CV-6757, ED NY, 2011)

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