How to avoid a Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

by on January 14, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

The sound of retaliation

Beware the vengeful boss….

A singing instructor who voiced her concern about pay disparity between male and female music professors was punished: Her previously top-rated evals suddenly hit a sour note with the superior to whom she’d complained.

Suspecting retaliation, she sued for sexual discrimination – and won more than $1 million.

Cite: Daw v. Kennesaw State University.

$7.7 million damages for gender discrimination retaliation

A Virginia employer is on the hook for $7.7 million in damages after a federal jury found it retaliated against a worker who complained of bias.

The worker, who was a top salesperson, claimed she was passed over for promotion three times in favor of men. She was told she could leave if she didn’t like it. Later, she was fired.

Red flag: Punishing a gender discrimination complainer can get you in more trouble than the complaint itself.

Cite: DePaoli v. Vacation Sales Associates

Boss dismissed sex discrimination complaints

Got a cynical supervisor who dismisses complaints about men who treat females inappropriately at work? He could get you into trouble.

When six women told their boss about their male co-workers’ daily degrading comments, the boss said it wouldn’t do any good for him to talk to the offenders because they were never going to change. “There are seatbelt laws,” he told the women, “but people don’t wear them.”

A court awarded the workers $535,000.

Cite: EEOC v. Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company

Employer agrees to pay $54 million

Big firms with litigation-conscious lawyers should know better than to discriminate when it comes to promotions and pay. This sex discrimination case is a reminder to the rest of us.

A major financial firm agreed to a walloping $54 million settlement in a sex didiscrimination lawsuit contending women in one division were treated unfairly. Under the terms of the agreement, the employer will launch diversity training and enhance opportunities for women.

Proactive HR monitors hiring, firing, promotions and disciplinary actions for trends pointing to management bias.

Cite: EEOC v. Morgan Stanley.

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