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Bad interviews and discrimination lawsuits

Employers in New York are usually quite aware of anti-discrimination laws. In response, workplace management often establishes procedures that can prevent bias from taking place during hiring, advancement and retention practices. In some cases, however, an applicant or employee may still perceive an injustice and file a lawsuit or complaint against the employer.

In one case decided in 2017, an employee of a police department was required by the terms of her employment to go through an interview process as a condition of being rehired to her position. This particular police department had several job roles that required a similar process.

Unfortunately for the employee, her behavior during the interview was described as unusual, angry and controlling. As a result, she was not rehired to the position that she had held for some time. Her response was to file a lawsuit claiming that she was being discriminated against either due to her sex or because she had engaged in whistleblowing behavior.

The burden was on the plaintiff in this case to prove the discrimination. The court held that she did not meet this proof and that her employer had done nothing wrong. Legal experts have noted that the employer protected itself by keeping good records of the entire re-hiring process, something that all businesses should make a practice of as a matter of course.

Employers who are concerned about the threat of workplace discrimination lawsuits may benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the employer’s current processes and make recommendations regarding the development of policies that comply with the law and reduce the possibility of employee litigation.

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