“Why the ‘Equal Opportunity Jerk” Defense Should Be a Last Resort for Employers”


Bruce’s Summary: First, does this sound like a familiar subject? Well, I commented earlier this month on the same subject, “Jerk Managers” and yes, it’s still timely. Please no names, but do, as an HR Professional, share this write up and the other one on my web page on this delicate subject of “jerk managers” with your CEO/CFO. Both authors do a very good job of explaining the basic costs of doing business 101 in a legalized way.

The most fascinating thing by the author in this write up is the apparent number of times (unfortunately, I’m not surprised) after an official EEOC charge or lawsuit is received by the company accusing a manager of discriminating against an employee, the response received by the defense attorney from management is, “yes, the manager treated the plaintiff horribly, but he does that to everyone he supervises.” As I have commented in the past, “there are no secrets”, there’s just short term memory loss until something blows up.
By sharing this timely subject with those in the know, something more positive might just occur within the work environment that could increase revenue and productivity. Just think if management had addressed such inappropriate behavior when it first began, even the “Jerk Manager” may have been saved but more importantly ROI could have been positively affected through an increase in morale, engagement, retention and who knows maybe something good said about the organization on social media. Employees might even start enjoying coming to work, what a concept! “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

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