Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Don’t be a jughead by thinking that white men aren’t a protected class


A group of male employees of Archie Comics filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against their employer. They allege, among other things, that Nancy Silberkleit, the company’s co-CEO, constantly referred to them by their male anatomy instead of by name.

In her defense, Silberkleit claims that she cannot be liable because “white men” are not a class protected from discrimination.

Rest assured, that defense is a loser. Title VII does not just protect minorities from discrimination. It protects all employees from discrimination. Thus, a male employee enjoys the same rights as a female employee to a workplace free from discrimination, just as a white employee has the same rights a black employee. An employer cannot treat men differently than women, or whites differently than blacks, and the disparately affected and marginalized class (whether or not a historical minority) has a claim.

My advice to Nancy Silberkleit? Abandon your defense, get out your checkbook, and take some EEO training.

[Hat tip: BuzzFeed]

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