Manager recommends discipline or firing? Investigate before agreeing to go along

Branscomb sued, alleging reverse discrimination. She claimed the His­­panic managers treated Branscomb with disrespect and disdain. She also pointed out that brides typically liked her alterations better than the other woman’s.

Here’s something to consider the next time you authorize discipline or discharge: It pays to independently investigate management’s underlying reasons for the action.

Do that even if the employee in question doesn’t belong to a traditional protected class. Reason: Reverse discrimination is also illegal. Plus, rubber-stamping a discrimination-tainted recommendation is never a good idea.

Recent case: Margaret Branscomb was hired as a bridal gown alterations specialist at the same time the company hired a Hispanic alterations specialist. The Hispanic employee didn’t have any experience, while Brans­­comb did. The two managers who supervised both women were also Hispanic.

Shortly after she was hired, Brans­comb was terminated. The manager who made the decision was not His­­panic, but acted on the Hispanic man­­agers’ recommendations.


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