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Petty slights aren’t grounds for a lawsuit

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Some workers are thin-skinned and seem to think that little annoyances can add up to a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit. Fortunately, that’s not true.

Recent case: Donte, who is black, worked as a security guard. When a co-worker poked him with a radio antenna, he complained to a supervisor, who did nothing.

Later, he claimed a co-worker who he had reported for sleeping on the job called him a “clown” and an unspecified racial slur. Again, he said the supervisor did nothing.

Donte sued, alleging that he was subjected to retaliation and a hostile work environment because he was sometimes relieved late at the end of his shift and made to work outside on occasion.

But the court quickly dismissed Donte’s lawsuit, reasoning that nothing in his complaint rose to the level that necessitated federal intervention. (Bell v. McRoberts Protective Agency, No. 15-CV-0963, SD NY, 2016)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michelle January 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm

That’s still a creation of hostilities in the work environment which in turn should still have been addressed with a litigated manner of execution (With the policies of the company in consideration which were submitted and reviewed by the unanimous agreement of the State). The employee creating this should have been reprimanded, written up formally or terminated, despite the petty slights which did not equal enough damage for reciprocity. It appeared addressed, and brushed aside despite the fact that the company agreed to the terms of the highest law for workers Rights. Question is, did he still have to continue working under those circumstances despiting his plea.


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