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Retention Management And Metrics

Employee Turnover And Retention Briefings Abstract: 28

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Is Quitting Under Duress Same as Firing in Sexual Harassment Cases? [Penn Live] Sunday 03/21/04 7:11 PM

On March 31, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether Nancy Drew Suders may sue her employer for sexual harassment. Her employer had in place a system for handling sexual harassment complaints that Suders did not utilize. In the past, the court has ruled that employers with such systems are immune from suit unless the employee was involuntarily let go. In Suders case, she voluntarily quit her employment with the Pennsylvania State Police after being placed under investigation for stealing her own performance exam. Suders claims that during her employment she was subject to a continual barrage of sexual commentary from supervisors.

In August 2001, a US District judge threw out her case on the basis that someone who voluntarily quits is not entitled to the same legal protections if they do not make use of internal complaint systems.

Suders case was reinstated in April 2003 when the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found evidence that her bosses were trying to dismiss her.

The Supreme Court will decide whether or not an employee who is forced off the job has the same right to sue if she did not make use of an organization's anti-discrimination program as someone who has been fired.

Professor Susan Grover of William and Mary Law School suggests that employees should be concerned if someone quits without explanation. She recommends exit interviews to make sure supervisors are not making inappropriate actions toward subordinates.

The case is Pennsylvania State Police v. Nancy Drew Suders, 03-95
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