Tuesday, February 16, 2016

EEOC Findings and Opinions that Appear Relevant

I did a little research into EEOC matters to see if the City is handling the Fire Chief debacle appropriately under EEOC guidelines.  Here is some of that research:

An initial inference of retaliation arises where there is proof that the protected activity and the adverse action were related. Typically, the link is demonstrated by evidence that:
(1) the adverse action occurred shortly after the protected activity, and 
(2) the person who undertook the adverse action was aware of the complainant's protected activity before taking the action. 

Even if the respondent produces evidence of a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the challenged action, a violation will still be found if this explanation is a pretext designed to hide the true retaliatory motive. Typically, pretext is proved through evidence that the respondent treated the complainant differently from similarly situated employees or that the respondent's explanation for the adverse action is not believable. Pretext can also be shown if the respondent subjected the charging party's work performance to heightened scrutiny after she engaged in protected activity

Separation to Prevent Retaliation:

It is important during an investigation that the complainant and the harasser have no or very limited interaction if required by the nature of their jobs. This may require putting the harasser on administrative leave, moving him to another building, changing his shift, etc. The employer must minimize the opportunities for further harassment and/or retaliation to occur. During the investigation, the work conditions of the complainant should generally not be changed unless she agrees to it. Hence, her duty station, hours of work, job assignments, and benefits should not change. Any change to her normal work routine might be considered retaliation. Unpaid leaves of absences for the complainant until the investigation is finished might be perceived as retaliation since she is losing income when she otherwise could be working.

Source: William R. Tamayo, Regional Attorney, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, San Francisco District

The method by which most plaintiffs attempt to establish the causal relationship relates to the timing of the adverse action. Close temporal proximity between the protected activity and the adverse employment action permits an inference of the causal nexus necessary for a finding of retaliation. The Ruffino court held that the adverse actions taken against the plaintiff, including unfair monitoring, criticism, an unfair performance review, and pay cut, occurred and escalated during and immediately following her decision to pursue her sexual harassment complaints, thereby satisfying the causation requirement.



Anonymous said...

Textbook case of how to get sued. This is exactly why Sisson and Oldon must go. They are only compounding the damage as each day goes by. They have openly harassed and retaliated against two career public servants and stripped them of due process during this obvious smear campaign.

George Hawthorne said...

We need to STOP giving the Mayor a "pass," he is fully complicit in the actions of these two people. He fully admitted that he authorized the actions of the administrator and the chiefs being placed on leave.

What has happened to the chiefs since the Friday deadline of their own HR policy?

Or, did they change that also without informing anyone?

Anonymous said...

After what's happened over the past 2 weeks and to now read this gives me the creeps. My husband has been a loyal city employee for many years and we are lifelong city residents. It's terrifying to me to think something like this could happen to our family. God bless you Maren for exposing and speaking out against these out of control bullies.

Anonymous said...

Ashton Hayward is doing a wonderful job in his attempt to bankrupt the City.

We should show up for the Amtrack VIP party on Friday and let our guests get to know the "REAL" Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, 2 fire department employees are being investigated because they "deviated from the hiring practices". As I recall-a while back Tamara White Fountain (TWF) was hired and when the credibility of her experience and education was questioned, Sisson or someone in human resources, created and added her job description to the city website AFTER it was exposed. How can they ignore that the way TWF was hired was not a deviation from the hiring practices? Then they turn around and claim that the fire department deviated from the hiring practice (WTF)?
Maybe they should claim they were following the examples and "standards" their human resource department and city leadership has displayed.

Anonymous said...

I noticed on you request for public records- you did mention specifics, but have you ever requested the contracts and expense reports for the attorneys representing the City on this situation and previous human resource incidents? I'm new at reading your blog and may have missed previous reports explaining why the city would/would not release that information. I have a hard time believing that information would be confidential. I also have a hard time understanding why there are that many attorneys representing a town as small as Pensacola. Look at it from the taxpayer's perspective; there are at least 2 city attorney's working on city payroll - then the city frequently uses 2 (Beggs & Lane and Larkin & Blue). The people of Pensacola have the right to know how much money has been spent on attorneys since the strong mayor took office - for any and all situations - and now especially for human resources.

Anonymous said...

This insanity has got to stop somewhere. How long is this so-called investigation going to last anyway? Seems to me that the wrong individuals are being investigated in the first place. Everyone knows that this is a complete railroad job by Hayward's administration. I'm just saddened by the fact that there seems to be such indifference in this community. I thought that there would be a much louder outcry for justice. Maybe it's time for me and my family to consider moving out of Pensaco(L.A)Lower Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Last night my son heard a WCOA news blurb on the leave of absence for the Chief and Deputy Chief being extended for another 10 days. He turned to me and asked "what did they do?" - out of the mouths of babes. This action gives the appearance that these two men are the ones being investigated when the city insists that they are not. Talk about character assassination.

Anonymous said...

They are obviously doing this with malice and intent. This was done as a warning to all city employees. Of course those who are responsible for this will take a hit politically. But unfortunately it only lasts for those who affected most. I for one hope they sue the city big time! They need to send a message to all of the other employees that they can stand up also.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the tailor-made job description for Rebbecca McLellan. What a joke this whole administration has been.