Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oral Warnings May Be Inappropriate To Correct Race-Based Misconduct

According to the EEOC, an oral warning or reprimand is appropriate only if misconduct (e.g., harassment) was isolated and minor. If an employer relies on oral warnings or reprimands to correct harassment, it will have difficulty proving that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct such misconduct. (Source:

In other words, don’t let promises from your employer, regarding someone being written up or “spoken to” about misconduct guide your decisions as to whether or not your employer is providing ample protections for you under the law. If you have been the victim of substantial and pervasive misconduct, the punishment of the offending individual should be more significant. For instance, it may be more appropriate that the individual be demoted, transferred, etc. Only you know the severity of your situation, but you should demand whatever punishment fits the crimes committed against you.

Additionally, your employer’s response to misconduct should be immediate. If your employer does not immediately correct pervasive misconduct, they are opening themselves up to legal jeopardy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with that verbal correction or 'coaching' as it is often called is not sufficient when misconduct is severe and pervasive. I was subjected to months of discriminatory behaviors and verbal abuse that was left unaddressed by both managemetn and Human Resources because they considered it leadership issues. Most agree that it is a very fine line between people who have leadership issues vs. people who engage in misconduct that's discriminatory and illegal.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Free Music said...

well this is really strange

1:24 AM  

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