Is Preferential Treatment Discrimination?

A Kantola Learning Minute

An HR Director writes about an employee who is using flirtatious behavior to get on the good side of a boss. It's working, and her coworkers are complaining about preferential treatment. Is this discrimination? Find out in this week's Learning Minute with workplace trainer Linda Garrett, JD.

Hi, I'm Linda Garrett. We had a really interesting question come up about preferential treatment in the workplace. It seemed that one employee was using flirtatious behavior, basically, to get on the good side of the boss. The boss was responding positively to that behavior and others observing, other coworkers especially, were feeling left out. In fact, they were feeling that, as she was receiving favors, they were being disfavored. Is this a form of discrimination?

It can be, especially if the person receiving the favors is in a protected characteristic and those being disfavored are being left out because of that.

So, as a manager or boss, you have to keep in mind every move you make is being watched carefully and you have to remember, be fair. Because when you favor one employee, others will feel disfavored, and that will feel like a form of discrimination.

Thanks for watching.

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