Saturday, January 21, 2012

John Elway Faces Discrimination Suit

The workplace should not be a hostile environment. Employees who want to serve their companies deserve to enter and thrive in a premises that respects their dignity.

Yet if a company engages in ongoing racial harassment against an individual, should the maligned individual seek redress in a court of law?

Apparently, Timothy Sandquist, a former employee of John Elway's Manhattan Beach Toyota, is seeking such a remedy. After receiving a promotion without requisite title or pay, he was subject to racial slurs and hostility in the workplace. After eight years on the job, he resigned.

Sandquist not only seeks backpay, but also compensatory damages and assurance that future employees receive equal pay for equal work. His outrage, if more than alleged, merits attention. No one deserves to be sandbagged with greater responsibilities without proper compensation. Yet private and free market mechanisms are more effective when combating discrimination and hostility in the workplace. Bankrupting one more company in the name of social justice does no one any good. Individuals in society must stop seeking redress in a court of law in order to make up for a lack of diligence or foresight in combating discrimination in the workplace. If the employers in a corporation engage in hostile and disrespectful behavior, the resposibility to seek other employment rests with the aggrieved employee. The same also commands the respect to inform his comment of unscrupulous practices dominating his workplace.

Mr Sandquist is entitled to proper compensation for the work that he did, provided that a previous contractual relationship had defined his responsibilities and matching pay. Without this proof, Mr. Sandquist has nothing with which to make a case, for he was ultimately responsible for initiating redress as soon as possible. If he recognized the unscrupulous decision to hire him without proper compensation, he must bear the responsibility of not acting in a timely fashion to address the problem.

To deal effectively with racial discrimination, individual workers would better represent their concerns if they documented their grievances, complained to proper authorities, then resolved to quit the employment. No one should have to shoulder disrespect, but it is immoral to place an undue burden on the judicial system to right the wrongs that an employee chose to endure in a workplace. No one has to endure abuse, yet no one can cry for restoration having chosen to endure disrespect.

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