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Obvious matter of discrimination Illinois

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  • Obvious matter of discrimination Illinois

    Okay, so my father in law has been working for this company for over 15 years now I think. He does not have a college degree, but he is a great worker. He works in the company's warehouse. Recently, we have been getting really worried about some situations at his work place. As a part of his tasks in the warehouse, he has to drive a truck and make deliveries for the entire night of his shift. There is supposed to be a rotation, but they mention that there are not enough people to do a good rotation. This is tiresome, obviously, and not preferred over simply working in the warehouse.

    What's interesting is that his co-worker, who is in the same position as him, does not drive the truck as much as he does or often times, not at all. He did ask once why this co-worker was not driving the truck, to which the response was that he is on a special project. However, upon further inquiry, he found out that there is no special project. The co-worker happens to be black and so is the supervisor. It bothers me that it's like this, and I don't care for being politically correct in this situation, because it absolutely sucks. He mentioned to them that this New Year's eve he could not drive the truck, because he wanted to get back early to spend Christmas eve with the family. However, they made him do it anyways; and where was hs co-worker; you guessed it, working in the warehouse.

    Basically, I can't help but see evidence of discrimination and it's clear cut. He's worried about going to his supervisor or the manager because he thinks he may get fired for bringing this up. I am about ready to fax the details to the company's general counsel. However, I don't want him to get in trouble.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    You can see evidence of discrimination all you want - that doesn't mean it's there. Furthermore, it doesn't mean that ILLEGAL discrimination has occurred.

    For all you know, maybe he only trusts your father-in-law to do the driving and doesn't trust the other guy. Or any of 1,000 other explanations that do not involve illegal discrimination.

    The fact is that the supervisor can assign tasks as he wishes (within the bounds of employment contracts, union rules, and state and federal law, of course). If he likes to give one person the driving job, that's up to him.

    Furthermore, your father-in-law is an adult and doesn't need his son-in-law screaming discrimination for him.


    • #3
      Whenever I see a third party talking about how someone else is "clearly" being discriminated against, I can't help remembering a situation I was involved in a few years ago.

      A department head had left, and everyone expected that "Bonnie" would be promoted. Everyone in the department was female, and the only one under 40 was the one who was leaving (she also had the most seniority) but Bonnie had the next most seniority. She was also the oldest member of the department and the only one of a minority race.

      When the department head position went to "Carol", "Diane" went to upper management to complain on Bonnie's behalf. She was certain that Bonnie was being discriminated against. She did not tell Bonnie that she was doing this. If she had, she would have learned that Bonnie was offered the position and had turned it down, recommending that Carol be promoted instead. Bonnie said that she did not want the extra responsibility at her age and that Carol was more qualified (which, btw, was the case).

      When the business in question closed a year ago, four years after this situation, Bonnie was still in the exact same position, by choice. Carol had been transferred to a different department to a more senior position, and Diane was now assistant manager of the entire company - in fact, Carol now reported to her.

      My point is that since you are not there, you cannot know all the details of the situation. Your father in law may not even know all the details. There can, and often are, be circumstances that are not obvious. The fact that the other driver and the supervisor are the same race and it is a different one than your father in law, is NOT enough to make a definite accusation of discrimination. It may be, but it also may not be.

      In any case, it is up to your father in law to address the issue, not you.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.