Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tangible Employment Actions and Your Salary and Benefits: Part II

If you feel you are the wrongful victim of a tangible employment action, PREPARE TO FIGHT BACK! Here are some tips, as promised yesterday.

Tip #1: Maintain a record of any memos or emails you receive that are meant to justify the tangible employment action (e.g., corrective action notice, written warnings, etc.);

Tip #2: Be able to produce your salary history, by maintaining a record of your income with your employer. Show any decrease in pay. Maintain a record of any memos or emails that are meant to justify a salary decrease.

Tip #3: Check the personnel manual! Before such extremes actions were taken against you, check to see if your employer is following its own policies and procedures. If not, point out any violations that may exist.

Tip #4: Find out about past history! Have other employees engaged in the same behavior that you were accused of engaging in or of having the same performance deficiencies that you were accused of having? If so, what happened to those people? Does it differ from actions taken against you? If so, and the consequences for other employees was nonexistent or very minor, you may be able to claim disparate and unequal treatment by your employer.

Tip #5: Keep pushing your side of the story! Don’t let HR or your employer ignore your version of the facts. Document everything, including every relevant conversation you’ve had with HR staff and authorities at your job. List any contradictions in what they say about policies and justifications for the actions. Provide witness statements to support you (e.g., character references or eye witness accounts of events, etc.) and request that HR check with these individuals to confirm your story.

Tip #6: File a grievance or request an internal investigation! Don’t let tangible employment actions slide. If you believe a manager is acting on racist whims by stripping you of your staff or cutting your pay, ask for HR to investigate the matter! It’s your career, fight for it! If the company doesn’t find in your favor, appeal the decision!

Tip #7: Seek legal counsel! Don’t be afraid to consult an attorney in response to a fraudulent tangible employment action.

Tip #8: Remember that your company will usually do everything in its powers to make it appear that the tangible employment action was warranted. This will be their justification for why no violations of Federal law occurred. It is your job to show that the arguments presented by your employer are nothing but pretexts used to hide their true motivations, which might be harassment, discrimination or retaliation. By keeping a log of events that transpired, keeping hard copies of memos, emails, and other documentation that supports your case, and by tracking comments made and actions taken by your supervisor, Human Resources, and corporate management, you can begin to demonstrate that their defense is dishonest and solely meant to cover up the violation of your employee rights. Focus on why their defense is untruthful! That is the burden placed on complainants!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much wisdom! I wish I discovered your blog earlier. I am much wiser now after reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your bitter experience of racism.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Experienced a similar situation of racism/retaliation at my former company. Currently pursuing legal actions. Thanks for your blog! I kept all files, notes, memos, etc. It's costing me alot right now, but I do not intend to give up the fight for justice for other African-Americans in the workforce.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your commentary has helped me tremendously. I am currently pursuing legal actions against my former employer for racism and retaliation. I've been reading your blog for almost two years and followed your advice in keeping files, notes, emails etc. If not for you, I wouldn't have known how important this is. I started documenting the retaliation and now my attorney has relevant information that I pray will lead to a victorious outcome. I've been put through HELL but will not give up.

10:01 AM  

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