While a Texas credit union maintains in a recent lawsuit that it eliminated a two-person HR shop for financial reasons, the plaintiff in the case says that the elimination was in retaliation for her opposition to the bank’s biased hiring policies.

While the situations alleged in Donald’s case are “fairly extreme,” allegations of discriminatory hiring practices “are made fairly frequently and are often associated with negative publicity for the employer involved,” wrote Brian Pedrow and Chris Cognato, attorneys with Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia in an e-mail to SHRM Online.

They pointed to the recent settlement reached with Bass Pro Outdoor Worldwide LLC, where the company agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit alleging discriminatory hiring practices. “The media, EEOC and plaintiffs’ attorneys are all highly attuned to developments like these. Therefore, all employers would be wise to pay careful attention to their own training and outreach efforts, as well as their hiring practices,” they wrote.

Companies should identify whether any discrimination is organization-wide or limited to a small group of rogue decision-makers to help ascertain training needs, they recommended.

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