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Christine O'Donnell's Discrimination Suit

Dear Mr. Kalb,

Re: Christine O’Donnell’s Discrimination Suit

She is potentially a traditionalist. Here are some facts based on my years of experience dealing with these infernal complaints. Ninety percent have no basis and are dismissed early. O’Donnell’s lasted four years. Why? Was it dismissed without a settlement? We can’t know the answer to the last query.

The reasons for the suits fall into this rough order of priority: (1) resentment for being fired at will (which was disallowed in 1964) coupled with the practical reason of gaining leverage to reduce a firing at will (for possibly a trivial reason, which is widespread against white males) to a resignation or to a demotion or a reassignment; (2) word against lying word; (3) poor documentation by the employer (see prior reason); (4) poor handling by the HR department (where there is widespread understaffing and incompetence); (5) legally valid based on the law, not based on an actual prohibited animus; and (6) an idiot supervisor makes a stupid prohibited remark. The last are always settled except when the employee is a criminal. Hmm? Trads surely should hope not.

Most cases are never filed, that is, most are settled well before suit because most employers cannot afford to defend the volume of suits that would be filed if the supervisor were not to endure lousy performance.

Paul Henri

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Jim, many don’t know the following about the hit piece (see http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42209.html) by Tim Grieve and Andy Barr.

Grieve is an editor from Salon. See http://dir.salon.com/topics/tim_grieve/

And “Barr regularly offers political analysis and commentary on national television and radio programs, including MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Hardball With Chris Matthews,’ CBS’s ‘The Early Show’ and NBC’s ‘Today,’ as well as on CNN, BBC, NPR, ‘The Bill Press Show,’ ‘Imus in the Morning’ and Fox Business Channel.” See http://www.politico.com/reporters/AndyBarr.html

Maybe they got something right, but I will update you on this important topic, with citations.

Paul Henri

Jim, it will give me the opportunity to enjoy walking around one of the post-six-month-saunas that is New Orleans. “New Orleans’ Fall” is peeking out. We are plunging to 89 and relatively low humidity for two or three days. The federal courts are only 7 blocks away.

Paul

Jim,

Let’s start with some background: The Bushes’ Americans with Disabilities Acts of 1990 and 2008. They allow the most detached focus on the essence of anti-discrimination. Let’s say an excellent pharmacist has some eyesight problem that came about. The employer attempts accommodation (as the Act requires) by reassigning her to a new schedule. But as is often the case, the demands gravitate into a black hole. She now contends she is unable to see for several minutes at a time and still insists on full-time employment. This supposed inability means she can no longer mix medicines, an essential function of her job, thereby disqualifying her as a person with a disability. (One wag wondered what state would issue a motor vehicle license to such a person.)

The disqualification has not stopped her aggressive attorney’s or employer’s need to resolve the dispute. But will she agree to be a nurse’s aide or a maintenance engineer? Not a chance. (Another wag noted how many miracle cures are effected when the complainant realizes their situation.) This is an actual dispute, not a trad’s invention.

So Christine’s suit (based on gender rather than disability) could be complete bull insofar as trads are concerned. That is, she is going against the principle that there are too many anti-discrimination laws. Her boss might have hated her guts for any number of reasons. We are all wronged day in and day out to one degree or another. Nowadays wrong includes firing at will. Is that wrong? It certainly is inefficient in the public workplace because otherwise it helps fools to run things. But is it wrong in a private marketplace (as was Christine’s), where wrongs are corrected by the market? Christine, as many traditionalists would do, used the system against itself, which is beneficial.

It benefits because it helps to turn the system on its head. You have the unintended recipients (white conservatives) of largesse consuming to the extent the largesse is exhausted and crumbles, much as Marie Antoinette did, except the outcome hopefully will be bloodless.

Paul