Discrimination Stories

Over the course of my thirty-five plus years in a leadership role I can tell a number of Discrimination Stories! Some were obvious and others were a little more difficult to determine what was really happening! Sometimes the individual making the claim just needed a reason to make themselves feel better about either their poor behavior or performance. However, no matter what your initial feelings are you must make sure that you do a thorough investigation to make sure!

Let me give you an example of two such discrimination stories where they claimed racial discrimination but after we peeled back the onion there was no evidence. I will make these two discrimination stories short and sweet; however, hopefully you will get the point. Keep in mind that by no means do these two stories demonstrate that most are false claims of discrimination. Many times discrimination takes place the violator disguises it through other actions. That is why you need to take an up close look! Discrimination does occur and occurs often!

In the first of two stories we had a brand new supervisor who was trying their very best to get things going in a positive direction. He was actively working with twenty-two employees. He was doing everything right. He was holding employees accountable and recognizing good performance. The individuals that he was holding accountable were of all races and other protected classes! Remember a protected class is race, religion, sex, sexual preference, national origin, age, etc. He was also being consistent.

On the first of these two stories the individual claiming racial discrimination had been previously held accountable by other supervisors prior to the new one. Their attendance and disregard for workplace policies made it necessary for the new supervisor to hold a meeting with the employee. The employee was offered union representation and they brought them with them. One of the very first things the union representative said was that the new supervisor was a black hater! Now that was bold and totally inappropriate.

The reason the union representative made this claim was because they knew of a different black employee who was also being held accountable for similar behavior and performance. What the union representative didn’t know was that several other employees were also being held accountable for other behaviors and performance. Often times when a new supervisor takes over after a long gap in leadership, there is a period of time that testing goes on. This is what was happening in these two discrimination stories.

The two employees also filed an inquiry with the EEO department. This always complicates the process; however, it is a much needed organization that serves a great purpose. I have gone through many EEOC investigations over the years and I have always found them to be extremely fair and reasonable. Now on the other hand in all those incidents there was never a determination that the law had been violated. The key to following the law is to make sure that you are treating everyone fairly and consistently. There can’t be any racial bias when it comes to being a supervisor. The bottom line is that a good supervisor wants to make sure that their staff does the best job possible. They would be working against that principal if they did let race get in the way.

So if you are a supervisor make sure that you document all actions so that if they are placed under a microscope like the two discrimination stories above you are ready to defend your actions. I hate that this must be done! But it is a necessary evil to protect yourself and your staff.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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