A good example of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) thought process when analysing a potential claim can be seen in the recent suit the EEOC filed against a major retail operation for alleged workplace retaliation.
Simple facts: A manager at a Dillard’s store in Port Arthur, TX, filed a charge with the EEOC alleging discrimination on account of race. Fast forward to hurricane season when local authorities order evacuation in advance of Hurricane Ike. Manager follows directive and goes home to wait out the storm. When she returned to work she was fired for “excessive absenteeism” citing failure to properly communicate regarding absences. Phone records show the manager had attempted to reach her supervisor to advise the supervisor as to her status. She had also called the “disaster recovery” number. The EEOC took a step back, looked at the big picture, and saw the termination as retaliation for filing the EEOC charge.
A strategic Orlando Human Resources consultants and business partners, we bring this to our readers as an excellent example as to why it is so important to take a time out to examine all the facts before pulling the trigger on termination cases. Sure, the EEOC will still have to prove that there was wrongdoing to win the case, but you can see how the EEOC lays out key facts on a timeline when deciding when to pursue a case. Then, it connects the dots.