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Discipline tracking system beats discrimination claims

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in Human Resources

Can your organization produce concrete evidence backing up every disciplinary decision it’s made? You need a tracking system that does just that.

Here’s why: When employees claim they were disciplined or fired because of their race or some other protected classification, they try to show that others not of the same classification (e.g., a different race, religion or gender) weren’t punished as severely for the same transgression.

Employers that maintain good disciplinary records can easily show who was disciplined, what the offense was and the discipline. A quick comparison probably will show no discrimination.

Recent case: Janell McDowell and Stephanie Sanders, who are black, were discharged after two other employees claimed they had created a hostile work environment. They sued, alleging they were targeted because they are black.

But the company showed that no other employee had been accused of creating a hostile environment. Therefore, there was no way for McDowell and Sanders to prove they had been treated differently because of their race. The case was dismissed. (McDowell, Sanders v. Southern Nuclear, No. 07-10943, 11th Cir., 2007)

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