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Don’t let lawsuit fear stop appropriate discipline

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Some employers want to avoid litigation and don’t like to discipline someone they are sure will sue. That can be a mistake, especially if the employee in question is harassing or discriminating against others.

Instead, stand your ground when issuing discipline.

Recent case: Adolfo won a settlement against his employer. Then his subordinates and co-workers began complaining about highly sexualized workplace banter. For example, Adolfo talked openly about others who supposedly engaged in oral sex. He made obnoxious movements when others bent over, simulating passing gas or having sex. Following an investigation, Adolfo was fired.

He sued, alleging retaliation.

The court said the employer had the right to defend itself against other sexual harassment claims that Adolfo might inspire. (Rodriguez v. City of Poteet, No. 04-13-00274-CV, 4th Texas Court of Appeals, 2014)

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