Although the US court for the Western District of Texas found that Dell failed to comply with its incentive bonus agreement with its former employee, Ellen Fleming, the court also ruled that the gender issue has nothing to do with her termination in March 2009.
The court ruled that Dell is required to play Fleming an incentive bonus of more than $50,000 but the same also ruled that Fleming also committed a mistake when she violated the company policy through forwarding e-mails from her company computer to her personal computer at home to secure evidence of the company’s alleged discriminatory practices such as gender discrimination in the workplace. Therefore, Fleming on the other hand, is also required to pay Dell with about $13,000 under the terms of her performance–based stock agreement according to court jury.
The split decision came out after Dell filed a counterclaim following Fleming’s gender discrimination lawsuit and other claims in December 2010.
In Fleming’s lawsuit, she claimed that her annual bonus was withheld because she refused to sign a waiver of rights which would bar her from filing for a claim against the company. While in Dell’s counterclaim, it stated that it is Fleming who violated the company policy when she illegally transferred the company e-mails in her personal e-mail.
Dell is one of the most established and well-known computer makers in the world and houses about 14,000 workers in Central Texas, while Fleming has been employed there for eleven years as an executive.
Meanwhile, Fleming’s lawyer could not be reached for comments.
Under the employment rights, an employee can file for employment discrimination lawsuit against an employer once an employee suffered unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace. However, employees should take note that in a discrimination claim, a claimant must not only prove that a discrimination has been made by the employer, but must also stress out that the discrimination was made based on either race, gender, or disability.
In Flemings’ lawsuit, she probably failed to provide sufficient evidences to support her complaint for gender discrimination in the workplace; hence, the rather close decision.