Can the Denial of a Lateral Transfer Be Discrimination?

05/10/2015 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

Keith Clouse, a Dallas employment lawyer, assists employers in defending claims of discrimination. He notes that, while employers often have employees who complain of “discrimination” that does not fit the legal definition of discrimination, employers may be surprised to learn what actions do fit the legal definition of discrimination.

For example, an employer may be surprised to learn that denying an employee a lateral transfer—one that does not offer a pay raise or other tangible benefits—can be considered a discriminatory adverse action. In these cases, the plaintiff must establish both that the employer denied the lateral transfer because of the employee’s membership in a particular class and that the new position is objectively better. To evaluate this, a court examines whether the new position: provides greater responsibility or job skills; provides greater opportunities for career enhancement; requires greater skill, education, or experience; is obtained through a complex selection process; or is otherwise objectively more prestigious. With this in mind, an employer must not unfairly deny an employee the opportunity to move within the company based on the employee’s race, sex, age, religion, nationality, color or other protected characteristic.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

 

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