Melissa Goodman in HRE Online: A Costly Lack of Training

08/11/2014


Can a failure to train an employee for opportunities that may result in greater compensation down the road be grounds for an employment discrimination suit? In the case of Charles E. Reed v. Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said it can...

Such specific claims take employers and HR into a grayer, more subtle area, says Melissa Goodman, a Dallas-based partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP, and co-chair of the firm's Trade Secrets Practice Group.

"A lot of times, supervisors know you can't use race or age, for example, as a factor in deciding whether to promote someone," says Goodman. "Similarly, you can't take adverse action against someone because they engaged in a protected activity. But a lot of times the alleged discrimination or retaliation is more obscure."

In this type of case, "I don't think the burden of proof shifts to the employer," she says, "but the employer needs to be able to articulate a legitimate reason or reasons why this person was not trained."

Excerpted from HRE Online, August 11, 2014. To view full article, click here.

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