Buffalo, NY asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: If a manager creates an unequal metric for demotion, does it constitute discrimination? Why or why not?

Employees A,B,C,D,E are Team Leads for the same department/company. They spend half their time individually making products and half on leadership tasks. Employee A is recognized and asked to help another department with leadership. His management agrees and reduces his time spent making products to 25%, also reducing his monthly product goal to half of his colleagues’. He regularly exceeds this goal. A year later a new manager comes to the department and decides to demote 2 of the 5 Team Leads due to lack of work. They chose to demote the two Team Leads who individually made the least products in the previous year, putting Employee A at a disadvantage because he spends less time making products and has a lower product goal. If a manager creates an unequal metric for demotion, does it constitute discrimination? Why or why not?

1 Lawyer Answer
James Francis Barna
James Francis Barna
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Cazenovia, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Regrettably, what you describe is unfairness, and a business using evaluation criteria that are not aligned with employee and company goals.

To be discrimination with regard to the the employment laws the evaluation metric would need to disadvantage a category of employees based, for example, on their race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or offender status. Unfairness to disadvantage certain categories is discrimination. Unfairness not intended to disadvantage based on category is not discrimination.

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