Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Blogging? We’ll give it a try. Yesterday I read about a case which was decided in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston in which the court decided that a woman has a case for a discrimination claim. I thought that this was really a big stretch to see anything that the employer had done wrong, but it seems that the federal courts lately have been just bending over backward to find some reason, any reason or just imaginary reasons, for finding that an employer is liable to pay money damages to any employee or former employee who brings a claim after being fired or having been passed over for a promotion.

Here are the facts, so see if you don’t agree that the court went a bit overboard on this one: two women who held jobs at the same level in a company both applied for a promotion to fill a vacant position. The person who later claimed discrimination had been with the company longer and had higher performance ratings than the other woman. Each had children at home, the claimant four including triplets who were six years old, and the other applicant two children aged 9 and 14. The two applicants were interviewed by three supervisors, all women, who decided that the other woman interviewed better and gave her the job. Later, the supervisor who had made the final decision and did not even know at the time of the decision that the claimant had triplets, told the claimant that, “It was nothing that you did or did or didn’t do. It was just that you’re going to school, you have the kids and you just have a lot on your plate right now.” Based on these facts the court found that the claimant had a valid case of discrimination based on sex-based stereotypes about the child care responsibilities of working mothers.

Am I crazy or what? It is getting just about impossible for an employer (and these rules apply to small businesses as well as large corporations) to let anyone go or to deny a promotion without facing the prospect of being sued.

So there you go. Another few minutes wasted. Stay loose, and I will get back to you as soon as I think of another frivolous topic for you to waste your time on.


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