Tammy, a 52 year old African American woman was a long standing employee of ABC* grocery.
She was with the company when those scanners were installed. She knows the inventory and respective vendors. She has been the leading store manager in her district. After several years, she knew she was ready for more responsibility and she applied for district manager position.
In the first attempt, she was told she was much too valuable in her local store position. But they hired younger Caucasian woman with half the experience. When the new employee needed help, the company asked Tammy to train this new district manager. But the training didn’t help and the new district manager was fired.
When the position opened a second time, Tammy applied again.
Yet again, she was passed over and asked to train a new district manager with half the experience. When this second district manager was also fired, Tammy asked why she was denied the promotion, since she was good enough to train staff. Tammy soon was fired for her complaint.
This may sound like an outlandish story, yet it is based on the true story of Detroit native who was passed over when she applied for promotions. After she trained two new employees with half the experience, Diane complained and then let go. Such retaliation is illegal. And the Detroit jury that awarded her $600,000 thought so as well.
Sometimes hiring authorities may not realize they are establishing a discriminatory practice.
Also, employees should understand they have a right to speak up and ask about the rationale for being passed over.
Employees may need to consider many elements when suing the company is a possibility. Will the attorney take the case on contingency? Is there clear evidence to support discriminatory practice? Did the employee exhaust administrative remedies and attempt to work with their human resources department before suing?
The splashy headline might capture attention, but there is plenty of anguish from the point of filing the complaint and the final verdict. Further, many cases don’t even go to court. To be sure about how to handle the situation, talk privately with family and an attorney about possible options. Many attorneys don’t charge for an initial consultation. But always remember, saying nothing means the employee has accepted the status quo of being passed over.
*Name of grocer company has been changed.
Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.
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