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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Job Discrimination Complaint Pitfalls & Traps

You have had just about enough of this nonsense. Your work environment is positively hostile because of your sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression or whatnot. You've been the subject of jokes, of harassing comments, of prank phone calls, weird things put in your desk or locker, of uncomfortable touching or even punching, threats --veiled or not so veiled -- of physical harm and loss of your job. You have tried to ignore this, hoping that showing you're not rattled and taking the higher ground will make this go away.

 Should you file a complaint with HR? Well, you could, but then there is what happened to Robert Jordan.

"When the news broke in October 2002 that police in Montgomery County, Maryland, had captured two black men suspected of being the snipers who had randomly shot 13 individuals, killing 10, in separate incidents over a period of weeks in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, an IBM employee watching the news on television in one of IBM's Montgomery County offices exclaimed, 'They should put those two black monkeys in a cage with a bunch of black apes and let the apes fuck them.' A fellow employee, Robert Jordan, who is black, was in the room at the time and heard the exclamation. Jordan was offended and discussed the incident with two other coworkers, who told him that the employee had made similar comments before. Jordan then reported the incident to management. A month later Jordan was fired, purportedly because he was 'disruptive,' his position 'had come to an end,' and management personnel 'don't like you and you don't like them.'" Jordan v. Alternative Resources, et al., 458 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 2006) (expletives undeleted).

 He lost his case.

 Cross-posted from Bilerico.com. Click here to

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