Isolated comments aren’t enough to prove discrimination — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Isolated comments aren’t enough to prove discrimination

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When an employee gets fired, his thoughts may turn to filing a lawsuit—maybe based on some suddenly remembered comment that he took as offensive or another supposedly discriminatory act. Fortunately, courts are rarely persuaded.

Recent case: Kenneth, a Muslim, was fired after he got into an argument with a resident at the nursing home where he worked. He allegedly told the elderly man that he needed to “calm the f**k down.”

Kenneth then sued, alleging religious discrimination. He cited incidents that allegedly occurred over several years. For example, someone apparently complained about the smell of his dinner. Another time, someone said, “I didn’t know you were a Muslim.”

The court threw out the case because none of the comments indicated anti-Muslim bias. (Shaw v. McDonald, No. 14-CV-5856, SD NY, 2015)

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