Workplace fight? OK to punish based on severity of injuries
Employers have the right to terminate workers who engage in violence. If two workers fight, employers are free to issue harsher punishment to the worker who inflicts the most severe injuries. Just make sure you document exactly why you believe the more aggressive worker deserves greater punishment.
Recent case: LaShawn, who is black, worked for Platinum Fluid Solutions. He got into a heated exchange with a white co-worker that ended with LaShawn allegedly punching the co-worker, sending him to the hospital with a neck sprain and concussion. LaShawn was terminated; the white co-worker wasn't.
LaShawn sued, alleging race discrimination. The court dismissed the case, reasoning that the employer was free to fire the worker who inflicted more damage, as the evidence in this case showed. (Bryant v. Platinum Fluid Solutions, WD PA, 2019)
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