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Boss’s stupid sexist comment may spur lawsuit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Even a single comment can be enough to keep a sex discrimination case going—especially if the commentator happens to be a supervisor with firing authority.

Recent case: Caroline, who is white, worked in counseling. She asked for and received adoption leave. On her return, the employer had reorganized and duties were reassigned. A man essentially replaced Caroline.

Then the executive director told Caro­­line she could retain part of her duties because she had gotten “good at” the task. But he added that the man was assigned to take over Caro­­line’s old supervisory functions because “he’s a man.”

She sued—and that comment alone was enough to send the case forward. (Roy v. Soar, No. 13-2846, ED PA, 2014)

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