Equal discipline key to survive sex bias claims

sex bias

Enforcing dress codes and conduct rules? Make sure men and women who violate the same rules receive the same punishment. Employers rarely lose sex discrimination lawsuits if they can show that everyone who broke the same rule received the same punishment.

Recent case: Mary worked as a police officer. Her supervisor admonished her for her attire and for not having her memo book ready at a meeting. Male officers were also routinely admonished for similar reasons. Mary also balked at having to retype a document. However, male officers also sometimes had to do the same.

Mary sued, alleging sex discrimination. But the court said that because male officers had also been disciplined for similar rule violations, Mary hadn’t shown that her gender had anything to do with the discipline. (Camarda v. Selover, et al., No. 15-3262, 2nd Cir., 2016)