Discrimination – Adverse Impact?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about:

I worked at my place of employment for 4 ½ years. My coworker had been there a little over 2 ½ years. We both had the same supervisor/manager. My coworker felt as though he needed help with his workload, therefore a third person was hired to assist him. The third person also had the same supervisor/manager as we did (in writing) but was trained/supervised/tasked by my coworker. A couple of months later, I went into my supervisor/manager’s office and he proceeded to tell me that my coworker had been given a supervisory position (and subsequently a promotion) but Human Resources (HR) had informed him that in order for someone to be a supervisor, they must supervise at least two people, therefore, I would be put under my coworker in order for him to keep his status. After my supervisor/manager said that, he then said, “Don’t worry, we are going to take care of you too.” I did not respond and I walked out of his office.

The next day I came in, typed my resignation letter and sent it to my supervisor/manager and also the deputy manager. The deputy manager called me in to his office and proceeded to ask me questions regarding my resignation letter. I told him I was tired of the blatant disrespect and the treatment so it was time for me to leave. My supervisor/manager never called me in his office to discuss my resignation. He never said a word. I felt like I was discriminated against because I have had numerous conversations with my supervisor/manager requesting a promotion/raise (warranted because of my increased responsibilities) and was kept being put off. But my coworker receives a promotion and I now have to report to him (someone that was on an equal level).

Signed, Frustrated and angry

Dear Frustrated and angry:

You would need to consult an attorney to determine if the specific aspects of your case seem to fall into the category of discrimination. The key factors would be statements made in writing or verbally that would indicate that you were more qualified than the other person who was promoted and/or that there was a process in place that either purposely or inadvertently kept you from being promoted. The fact that someone with less tenure was promoted would not, on it’s own, indicate discrimination.

In addition, the fact that you have now resigned would likely also have to be considered. There is no legal requirement for someone to meet with you about it, and apparently they simply decided to accept your resignation and let you move on to something else.You may find your best option is to focus on the next job and how you can get it, keep it and be fulfilled and effective in it. I can imagine how frustrated you were that things happened as they did in your job! I hope you can move forward and find one where you can be happy, AND where the managers use better judgment about how they handle promotions! Best wishes as you deal with this matter.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.