Thursday, September 5, 2019

When common sense carries the day


Jordan does not explain how being disciplined for her unplanned absences and tardy arrivals created a hostile work environment. Without evidence indicating that she experienced severe or pervasive conduct, Jordan’s hostile work environment claim fails.

Every now again it’s refreshing to review a common-sense judicial opinion. Jordan v. United Health Group is just such a case.

Annette Jordan, disciplined by her employer for unplanned and unexcused absences, and repeated late arrivals, argued that the discipline created a hostile work environment based on her race. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals wasn’t having it.

Sure, I can imagine a scenario in which discipline for violating an office policy constitutes a form of unlawful harassment. For example, if a supervisor only enforces a rule against African Americans, or tells an African-American employee, “I’m gonna get your black ass,” while disciplining her.

In this case, however, the plaintiff had no such evidence. As the court stated, “Jordan did not show that the harassment was based on her race. She offered no evidence demonstrating that she was targeted because she was black or that other, non-black employees received better treatment.”

Case (thankfully) dismissed.

* Image via Common Sense Media [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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