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Worker, boss broke same rule? Punish them equally

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in Firing,Human Resources

Here’s a case that shows how not to handle a discharge based on alleged wrongdoing on the part of a super­visor and his subordinate.

Recent case: Mark Rodgers, who is black, worked as a main­te­nance supervisor. The only black employee in his work group, he worked closely with his white supervisor.

Higher-ups confronted Rodgers and his boss for a series of violations, including allowing an employee to take equipment home for personal use and letting them take informal comp time after working off the clock. But while Rodgers was fired, his supervisor was merely demoted to a grounds crew position. Rodgers sued.

The court said the supervisor was the most obvious comparator and that it was clear that he had been pun­­ished far less severely than Rodgers. It upheld Rodgers’ lawsuit. (Rodgers v. White, No. 10-3916, 7th Cir., 2011)

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