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Discrimination Lawsuit Collection

ABC”s sport show “Wide World of Sports” started out with a catchy tune and the announcer, Jim McKay, telling us that the show was “spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat”. The last part of the narration included video of skier Vinco Bagataj , whose dreadful mis-jump and and twisting crash landing of March 21, 1970, became synonymous with “and the agony of defeat”. Fortunately and amazingly, he suffered no broken bones, but was then infamously known as the show’s hard-luck hero.

I use that introduction to this Monday blog, because we are spanning some Courthouses across the United States. I am attaching three cases that were filed. The common denominator is that they are all discrimination lawsuits. If you want more information on them, you can see where I attached the full article. Which will end up with the agony of defeat.

The New York “Daily News” reports on a lawsuit filed by Sherry Harrington, the first female operations chief at the New York Metro-North Railroad. Her lawsuit alleges that she was singled out and reprimanded for recommending her live-in-companion, for a railroad job. In her lawsuit, she also claims that she was being paid less than a man in an equivalent position; and that she was subjected to inappropriate and offensive comments in the office.

Her discrimination claim “is based on sexual orientation bias and nothing more”. She further states that her employer has ” damaged her reputation, career, physical and emotional well being.”

Our next discrimination suit comes from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. ( Jonathan Keith Blazek sued the city of Lakewood after he was fired for consuming alcohol, during one of his work shifts in March 2012. The lawsuit alleges that the city did not take Blazek’s alcoholism into account when he was terminated.

Initially, he filed a claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Then, his claim was brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The finding of both Commissions was “that the allegation that he was terminated, based on disability, is baseless”. The lawsuit now is filed as a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The lawsuit seeks back pay, reinstatement of his employment, and compensatory damages.

Our third lawsuit takes us to Georgia and the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution“. This lawsuit had been filed on behalf of seasonal American workers. The lawsuit alleged that black workers were given fewer hours, asked to do lower paying jobs, and were subjected to racial comments from their manager before being terminated. These seasonal employees claimed that the Mexican workers were treated better.

The first two lawsuits are currently pending. The farming suit has now settled. The settlement included back wages and rehire offers were extended. In addition, the managers who were targeted in the lawsuits are to now have limited contact with these workers.

For our pic o’ day, I can never get enough of captioned dog pictures!

Hiring Freeze about the Fire

The Marlboro Man should not apply for work at Bon Secours Hosptial Systems. In Virginia, Bon Secours has instituted a “nicotine-free hiring policy (Pilot Online) starting November 30. Because of this story, I tried some creativity in the title. Although, I’m told by our “social network staff” that my title isn’t good for optimization. Guess I should have put the Marlboro Man in the title. But, I digress. (like I’m known to do)

Since 2009, smoking had already been prohibited on all Bon Secours premises. Employees could smoke but, I guess they would sneak to their cars or hide somewhere. The new policy will not cause a termination of existing employees but they will all be offered smoking cessation classes and other support to help quit the habit.  I didn’t see anything in the article about a 5K bonus for quitting, like one employer told me about. Hey, Bon Secours, that might be good support!

Isn’t this discrimination. Yes…. Yes it is. It’s discrimination against smokers. Employers can do that because it doesn’t fit in the legally protected  classes of race, creed, color, sex or religion. There are some who are also trying to add another protected class; the category of sexual preference. So far, no one is fighting for the protection of the smoker. No Occupy Smoking.

As an employer, I have seen some employees take a great deal of time for breaks, to “get their smoke in”. We are at an office building that is non-smoking. I think, that might serve as a good deterrent to at least reduce smoking to once or twice a day. I haven’t taken the approach of Bon Secours but I do think it’s interesting and consistent with their focus on good health. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Or, you can let me know what you think of pic o’ today. Of course, there seems to be a lot wrong with this.

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