A Montana employer’s clear hiring criteria and good documentation showing why it chose not to hire a former employee allowed it to overcome a discrimination and retaliation claim in federal court. A former employee with human resources experience applied for three part-time package handler positions with United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS decided not to interview her for any of the roles. She sued, arguing that UPS discriminated against her based on her sex and retaliated against her for making a harassment complaint when she previously worked for them.
The court ended up dismissing all her claims. UPS provided solid criteria for its hiring decision, including the fact that it was looking for candidates with less experience than the former employee because it didn’t want to hire individuals who viewed the role as a stepping stone to a different job. It also had documentation showing that the individual accused in the old harassment complaint wasn’t involved in the current hiring process. In addition, the company’s written conflicts of interest policy precluded her from being hired because the father of her child would have been an indirect supervisor; they were no longer romantically involved but he was still paying child support (Washington v. United Parcel Service, Inc., D Mont, June 2022).
Tips: With many employers trying to hire as quickly as possible, it can be hard to have clear criteria for each hiring decision and even harder to be consistent. This case shows the value of consistent processes and documentation. If you have questions about how to beef up your hiring processes and associated documentation, please reach out to your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney.