Kimberly Ellerth was 23, fresh out of college and recently married, when she landed a prized marketing job with Burlington Industries in its Chicago office. But eventually her dream job became unbearable, she said, after a boss began making sexual advances toward her.
As we continue our HR Stories of Court Cases and Laws that made HR today we look at the second case in 1998 that the US Supreme Court saw in regard to sexual harassment. The case of Ellerth vs Burlington Industries continued the question in the Faragher case….whether a worker has a legitimate sexual harassment case if he or she neither submitted to the boss nor suffered any tangible detriment because they said no.
Kimberly was a real person....but she became infamous when her last name was tagged in one of the most famous employment law cases of all time. Listen to this episode of HR Stories Podcast and find out why!
Have an HR Story to tell? Want to contact John and Chuck? Email mystory@HRStoriesPodcast.com or visit www.HRStoriesPodcast.com.
Welcome to the HR stories podcast where there is a lesson in every story. If we listen well, stories help us learn and teach us ways to act. Each year, john tall heimer and Chuck Simikian deliver 1000s of seminars around the country to business owners, executives and HR professionals discussing the fundamentals of human resources, best legal practices and risk reduction activities for organizations. This podcast allows us to dig deep into the Human Resources experience, and see where businesses go wrong. Each episode we share a different story where a company missed the mark. And then we'll provide recommendation based on our years of working in the Human Resources field. Sit back, listen, learn and act. Welcome the HR stories Podcast, where there is a lesson in every story. And now our host, john tall heimer and Chuck Simikian. Hello, john. Hey, Chuck. Oh, we're excited to be back here for season two, and we're getting into Episode Two. This season, we have dedicated our time to talking about the stories that changed human resources. So we're going to look back on the legacy cases that change the way we interpret the laws. This week, we're going to continue our conversation about sexual discrimination in the workplace. Yeah, absolutely. And specifically sexual harassment because in a previous episode, Episode One of season two, we dug deep into the faragher versus the city of Boca Raton, where a lifeguard named Beth Beth faragher had the US Supreme Court rule in a decision in June of 1998, that under Title seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may be liable for supervisory employees whose sexual harassment of a subordinate results in a hostile work environment amounting to job discrimination. Yeah, it's really interesting, because we go back before these two 1998 cases, and really sexual harassment claims fell into two categories, right, we had that quid pro quo, which stands for Latin for this or that, where a supervisor would say, if you want to do this, or you want to accomplish this, you need to do this, in fact, I think in the far case was the one where the supervisor said to her, if you don't want to clean the bathrooms for a year, you're gonna have to go on a date with me, right? And so that would be quid pro quo. And then the other one is that hostile work environment. And so looking at this, I really think it's interesting how they came up to that conclusion, where the company could be held liable for a supervisor's action, which is really what we touched Scottsdale last week. Exactly. So as we continue our HR stories of these cases that changed HR that made HR today what it is, we're going to look at the second case in 1998, that the US Supreme Court saw in regard to sexual harassment. And that case was called Ehlers versus Burlington industries. And it actually continued the question in the faragher case, whether a worker has a legitimate sexual harassment case, if he or she submitted to the boss, and didn't suffer any tangible detriment. Because they said no. Right. And so title seven says, right contains that phrase, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. And so this is what they were really looking at. Did what happen? violate title sevens phrase, terms, conditions or privileges of employment? Exactly. And and Beth faragher stayed at her job for five years. So so she didn't suffer any tangible detriment is what they're talking about. And you're going to find out in this case, Kimberly Ellsworth didn't experience any tangible detriment either. However, these were still considered, ultimately, illegal. Sexual harassment, according to the US Supreme Court. So let's launch into this john. Yeah, I want to hear I wanna hear the story. Yeah. So So Kimberly Ellerth is her name. And she's 23. She's fresh out of college. And she's recently married, and she lands this prize marketing job with Burlington industries in its Chicago office. But eventually, her dream job became unbearable. And she actually said you It was a dream job. I mean, she was so excited. She's right out of college, and she's loving life. But then her boss begins making sexual advances towards her. You see, Ellerth had an immediate supervisor. And this is important to note she had her immediate supervisor name Mary Mary Fitzgerald. But Fitzgerald's supervisor was a was a man his name was Theodore Slowik. And as a merchandising assistant, Eller spoke with slowik on the phone, maybe on average once per week, she also traveled to training related sessions where she would see Theodore slowik. But she would really interact mostly with Mary Fitzgerald, her direct supervisor, and then Ellerth received at one point, a promotion to the position of sales rep in February of 1994. And then her new immediate supervisor was a gentleman named Patrick Lawrence, but his supervisor was still Theodore slowik. So at no point, we just want to make sure this is clear, as at no point was alworth. Directly reporting to Mr. slowik. Yeah, as far as I can tell, slowik was always her boss's boss. Okay. Okay. Yep. I think that's important for us to kind of understand as we go into this story in case. Absolutely, absolutely. So during her employment, Kimberly Ellis received numerous comments from slowik, Theodore slowik. And so it starts to take a little bit of a turn, because they go on these these little trips here and there, they interact, but not all the time. But when he sees her, he might he starts telling him to these sexual jokes. You know, in her presence, or he just starts telling talking these sexual jokes to others in her presence, and he starts commenting on our legs repeatedly. He then he touched her knee during a lunch meeting saying she was not as loose. She was not loose enough for him. You know, like she's too stiff, relaxed. You're not loose enough. You need to relax. He touches her knee during one conversation, Theodore slowik comments, you know, Kim, and this is a quote, you know, Kim, I could make your life very hard or very easy here at Burlington. And once was sitting in in Kimberly's office, making phone calls, right for some reason he's in there making phone calls. Theodore, slow, it tells her you know, it's nice to have my butt where your butt was Kim is creepy weird stuff. Right. Right now Yeah, totally creepy, you know, but still, it keeps going. So on another occasion, Kimberly l with contacts. This Theodore slower to get permission to do a favor for a customer. To which slow quick replies. I don't have time for you right now, Kim, unless you're telling me unless you tell me what you're wearing. You know, and and I guess I'm kind of over emphasizing those statements for dramatic effect. But I'm sure he just said, Hey, I don't have time unless you tell me what you're wearing. You know, just like offhanded comments, right? And so elder thing called slow again, trying to get permission to do this favor for this customer. And Theodore slowik actually refused her request, but asked her again, what if she was wearing shorter skirts yet? Because it would make her job a whole lot easier. So like, yeah, you know, it's interesting when we think about that, right? You think about somebody saying that and if you put yourself in alworth is I won't remember her first name Kimberly's Kimberly's place that just that to me, I can just feel like it just is gonna make you feel like not doing your job, right. It's gonna make you feel like why am I here? I have to deal with this. leech this yaak to get things done. And I think it's got you got to put yourself in that place and how uncomfortable that would be for that individual. With not that power, right? This is her boss's boss. In every case, it's been her boss's boss. So Wow. And I might have we might have some listeners say, Well, you know, it's a little harmless flirting. It's a little harmless flirting. But it It's not folks, and I want you to listen on because Burlington had a policy against sexual harassment, which was included in the employee handbook. And Kimberly had read the policy in the handbook, but she didn't report slow weeks harassing conduct to her supervisors. And yeah, go ahead. So why didn't she? Why didn't she say, I'm gonna go talk to the boss's boss, or even to her supervisor, right? Why didn't she just go like, hey, Patrick, this is happening and it's making me uncomfortable. Yeah, it's a great question. And here's why. Okay, there's why her husband, her husband, literally told her I advised her against informing her supervisor, she she wanted to, but her husband said, Nah, you know, and this is this is documented. By the way, this isn't me making this up. Her husband advised her against informing her supervisors about the conduct, because he feared that she might lose her job. Chuck, this has been interesting. Let's take a quick break, and we'll be back in a minute. The other day, I had a business owner asked me, How do I hire someone who isn't going to make the same mistake as the idiots in your story, and simple, I said, hire someone who is certified in human resources. Both Sherm and HRC. I have programs that certify individuals and human resources. This shows the hiring companies that they have the knowledge and experience needed to keep your organization out of trouble. More and more businesses are hiring and certify human resource professional, because they know it reduces the organization's risk. My advice to HR professionals get certified research suggests that those individuals who are certified make an average of $10,000 more per year and have a higher career satisfaction. One of the steps in getting certified is using a prep course to prepare for the exam. In fact, those who don't use a prep course fail at a higher rate than those that do are friends. And Andre Pratt provided a link on our website. So our listeners can get a discount for their self guided HR certification prep course. It's the same one check us to renew his senior HR professional certification last year. For more information, go to HR stories. podcast.com. Yeah, and so when we look at, right, so statistics behind this 75% of those people that do step forward, are retaliated against in some way. So I mean, there's some basis for that fear. And so that means they either lost their job, they got moved to another department, they lost a big client, all those things are there. And you can see, I think, from their point of view, Kimberly and her husband gone. If you take this action, How bad is it that Where are you going to go? And I think a lot of individuals face that in the workplace like, Okay, do I deal with this harassment? And I just, you know, I just put it, it's only an hour's day, I just deal with it. Because I can't lose this job. And depending on the fluctuation of unemployment, it's hard, right? Because if you see like, well, there's a lot of unemployment out there. I don't think I can get another job so quickly. And if it's the job you really love, you could see why somebody would make that decision, I think, right, and this is 1994. Right. So So and as we record that since 2021. So a lot of the cases a lot of the metoo movement, a lot of the publicity of of sexual harassment in the workplace, what wasn't really out there, so I could see their thoughts and their fears. Yeah. And I also don't think there's a there wasn't that that support back then where now I think we're attending this way, I still think we have ways to go. But when somebody in the workplace says something, we are now looking at the complaint and going okay, we're believing them first versus dismissing them going, Oh, no, that Mr. sloka is a great guy. He does wonderful things in the organization. And so there's that balance now. And I think that's something that needs to be addressed. For sure. Right. Right. So ultimately, Kimberly Ellis did not submit to any of his propositions, but neither did she lose her job. Like he never fired her. Nor she didn't lose a promotion. As a result, she actually, you know, she had been promoted, and she was doing pretty good. But about a year after when her boss refused to authorize a project of hers. So this continues to go on. Finally slowik says, you know, look, you know, she wants to do another project and and in his telephone call, he says, Are you aware Shorter skirts yet. She had had enough. And she, she just quits, never reports but she just quits and walks away. And here's the interesting so on May 31 1994, Ellsworth informs her supervisor that she's quitting her job, but she did not mention Slovaks harassing conduct. another month later in June 1994, she writes a letter. And at that point, she does inform her boss that she quit because of slow x harassment. Alright, so why did she do it a month later? Like, what was she thinking in terms of? Okay, you know what, I have to do this what what was her rationale? I was read the court cases, what was the rationale about that? Yeah, so I can't I can tell you what she was thinking because I actually researched this. And she starts thinking after she quits, she goes, you know, this isn't fair. This isn't right. I she loved her job. And so she, and I don't know how she came upon this job. Now that piece is missing to history. But at some point, she just got fed up in those 30 days or so actually, a couple of months later, and she filed a sexual harassment charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the ag OC, so state level, she files a charge and with the EEOC at a federal level. Alright, so the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which oversees title seven, so she not only goes to the local one, but she also goes to the federal one, to say, Hey, this is what's happening. This is what's going on. And so what do they do? Yeah, so in her charge, she did claim that she felt she had to quit her job, because slugs, harassment created an abusive work environment, then that's in quotes. That's what she literally wrote down on this form. And then on November 30 1994, so May she quits? June, she writes the letter. And sometime in, you know, right after that letter, she's thinking this isn't fair. And she becomes aware of the Illinois Department of Human Rights in the EEOC. So November 30, the EEOC sends a letter to our worth, with the right to sue letter, and she files a title seven sexual harassment lawsuit against Burlington. Okay, so I know we talked at last episode, but I want to make sure this is clear for people that are listening that may be in this situation that need to sue their company or want to sue their company. So to sue a company for sexual harassment, you need to go through either your state or your state board, or the EEOC, is that correct? to equal opportunity? Yes. And you have to do it within 100 and 180 days, in most states, some states are 3300 days, is that correct? Yes. Okay, good. So I just want to make sure that so people like you can't wait, this isn't something you can go, you know what, I'm going to wait a year. And maybe I'll come back to it. You have to think about this, if this is happening to you at work. Here my advice, if it's happening to you at work, go to somebody higher up in the organization. So either your human resources department or your executive, and try to get some action there. If that doesn't work, then go to the EEOC or your state and put in the thing, so then you can then go to a lawyer and then sue them. Yeah. And I have to tell you, the the I know towards the end, we talk about what could this company have done to turn this around. But this is why exit interviews are huge. So I mean, we'll come back to that about exit interviews, talking to employers about why they're quitting. But number two, if you get a letter like this, you got to do an investigation. And it wouldn't be with it wouldn't be out of bounds for the company to have done an investigation if they found this was true, to actually reach out to Kimberly Eller and say, Hey, we did an investigation. Tell us more. And do you want your job back? You know, and and those types of things. But so you know it you filed this lawsuit against Burlington. And at the trial in the district court, they examined Kimberly Ellis claim to determine whether the harassment created a hostile environment, and if so, whether Burlington the company was liable. And the court concluded that a reasonable jury could find Theodore slow excuse Conduct materially altered the condition of Ehlers employment and took away her right to a work environment. And this is in quotes john, free from discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult. However, oh, yeah. However, they ultimately dismissed her claim, noting, well, here's the deal, noting that she had suffered no actual negative job consequences. So there was no tangible job, things, meaning you couldn't point to something and say, well, Kimberly didn't get a promotion, or Kimberly was held back, or Kimberly lost money, there was no tangible action against her. Is that what you're saying? Exactly. When you, when I, as I, as I delve into this and read, read into this, I find that Kimberly had been promoted. During her time at Burlington, she had received raises, and, and any bonuses do or so. So there was nothing tangible again, it did not even anything like well, she got about office, she got the worst computers, you know, any of those types of things. So, all that I mean, that's a good point. Right? All that would be considered tangible. So if they got the office down in the basement compared to her co workers, or they were put, you know, or the computer they were had was, you know, from 1994, you know, one of those things, right. And so that could be considered tangible. But in this case, nothing like that happened. Yeah. And, and, and, and so to emphasize again, the court says, Yeah, Hey, you know what this sounds like it was really bad sexual harassment. But legally, that another we can do, and we're dismissing it. Okay, great. So what happens now? So lF appeals, and she says, you know, what, the district court misapplied the theories for employer liab bility. And now the Court of Appeals found that slow x conduct was within the scope of employment, and therefore, Burlington was liable for his harassment. And the court actually stated that under common under the common law of agency, Burlington had a duty to monitor so let me read this, I'm going to be very, very clear about this. Okay. Yeah, we Burlington had a duty to monitor the supervisor employees to whom it had entrusted special powers. And the court found that l Earth had presented enough information, and it therefore reversed the original court decision. Okay. So by that sentence, monitoring the supervisory employees to whom it has entrusted special powers, so entrusted special powers, right, for those people out there. When we say to somebody, hey, you're a supervisor, that is really interesting them with special powers to oversee the actions of others and to use their best judgment to make decisions on how those people, their performance is guided. Yes, absolutely. So a happy day. But wait, no, another but, but, okay. It wasn't over yet. Burlington is a company. And as a company, they felt they had done nothing wrong. Alright. So let me just I want to get into their mindset. Right, because I think at this point, that everyone agree that slowik was not a good represent, like he was a jerk, right. I mean, we all know that he created a feeling of hostile work environment for Kimberly. Right. And so we feel that and even Burlington, I think at this point said, yeah, we know he did it. But that's we don't think we should be responsible for his actions. Right? Yeah. Okay. That's exactly what we're saying here. So the chain of events, which takes us all the way to the Supreme Court, and Burlington industries, is saying that it should, it should take more of a threat, right and more of these conversations, to make a company financially responsible for a supervisor's abusive talk or conduct when there's no act Firing, demotion or definitive job action. James Casey, who is the Burlington lawyer contended that employers have no way of knowing what a supervisor is can is conditioning some job benefits on his sexual demands. So that's very similar to the city of Boca Aton. And their what they said in their case was like, well look that the lifeguards are a mile and a half away. We don't have direct supervision, well, how do we know what's going on? How can we be held responsible for that? Right. And so the court was hearing both of these at the same time. And so then when they came out of them, they had similar decisions, for sure. Right. And this goes back to one of your first comments. quid pro quo. So basically, Burlington is saying, there was no quid pro quo here. Um, as far as like, it was, it wasn't like if you do this, if you don't well, that gets the Let's stop that for a second. Right. So basically, and this goes back to one of the things you were first saying, john, and if you could expand on it quid pro quo, right? Yeah. Right, pro quo here, right? So there was no, he asked, right, he did as well. Like said, Look, if you do this, I can make your life easier. But she was like, No, I'm not doing that. And so in that case, there was no pro quo pro there was an ask for it, which creates that hostile work environment, but legally, there wasn't like, well, I need you to do this. And you go ahead and do this. And so I'll give you this. There was no desk for that in there. But there was a lot of handwork involved. Right. Yeah. There was a lot of hinting and hinting can create that. Yeah. So ultimately, ultimately, the United States Supreme Court determined that employer can be held liable for a supervisor, re employee sexual harassment that creates, are you ready for the term hostile work environment, and that an employer is vicariously liable for its supervisors harassing conduct? Us subject, and we're gonna dig into this right. But they said subject to an affirmative defense composed of two elements. Yeah. Right. And so again, I think this is the first time this in the the Boko return case, where the Supreme Court says, look, as a company, as an organization, you're liable for your supervisors. And I think they went on to define as supervisors, anyone with perceived employment decision making over an employee, okay. And the Supreme Court actually said, but but companies you're not, it's not all over for you, like you, you're not like floating in the wind, like, oh, we're so helpless, we're so helpless. They said, hey, look, you know, to avoid liability, you as an employer, have, you can if you can prove, by a preponderance of evidence that you as the employer exercise, reasonable care to prevent? Let's just say, for example, training, okay, so maybe through training, and correctly, promptly corrected. Any sexual harassing behavior? So in other words, you do your training, and you do your investigations? And you promptly correct those behaviors. That's the first, I guess you could call the Safe Harbor. So yeah, so I'm a company. My state doesn't have any laws that say, I need to do training. Why should I put that expenditure in there? Why would I want to put that expenditure in there, right? Because it would show that you made a good faith effort, you did the training, you had everyone sign off, you. You've you've put a number of things in place. And now, if something does happen, it lease it may not absolve you completely. But it might, you know, court and Supreme Court, they said if you can show this, they don't use the term here, but we talk about in a lot of our classes is called good faith effort, which provides a good faith defense. Yeah, no, and I definitely think you're, you're good. And so the other thing that I think a lot of states do have in their laws, is they're like, we don't require you as a private employer to do training, but we strongly urge you, when they say strongly urge you That means you better be doing it. Right. And then the other part The Supreme Court says look to avoid liability. The plaintiff, the employee, if they unreasonably fail to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer, you know, then that would you know, that might help the company out also to avoid liability. In other words, the employee or the employee doesn't take advantage of let's say, the company says, Okay, we're going to, we're going to correct this, we're going to fix this, we're going to give you your job back, we're going to maybe terminate this employee, we're going to fix this. And the employee says, No, that's not good enough. That could help avoid liability also. So if an employee comes and says, I'm being sexually harassed, the company does a big investigation and says, Okay, so now we're going to move that supervisor, we're going to discipline that supervisor, but then we're just gonna move into another shift because it wasn't we didn't think it was worth terminating, whatever they made that decision, and then that employee is like, No, I'm gonna still sue you, then there's a lot less of a chance that they're going to win that suit because the employer has done their due diligence. Exactly, exactly. So go ahead. Yeah. The other thing I'm thinking about is I think here, one of the things I know you talked about in your classes, and I talked about in my classes we talked about with our clients, is the key to documentation documentation. You said it earlier, right? When you do that sexual harassment, you can't be like, Oh, we did it. You gotta have your employees sign something that says, Yes, I went to the sexual harassment. Ideally, there's some type of quiz or something that to go, okay. Yeah, I took it, I did it. This is what I learned from it. And then also that there's a clear policy in the employee handbook, that you discuss storing on to orientation onboarding, and you're having them sign that employee handbook. So you can then present that as a preponderance of evidence, hey, we did do this. These are the things that we did. Right? And you know, in every class I teach, I always throw in an extra module, say, Okay, now supervisors, managers, leaders of any kind, you stick around, because we're going to talk about your responsibility. But why is this a big deal? Let's summarize this for the folks again, because prior to 1998, and prior to the elert situation, prior to the Beth faragher situation, cases, lower courts were all split on the requirements of what could constitute sexual harassment. And the decision in Burlington case changed that requirement for employer liability established by the circuit courts. So now to establish a complete affirmative defense, an employer needs to prove both took steps to prevent and at least after notice, correct, the harassment that the plaintiff unreasonably failed to take advantage of the protections that it afforded? Yeah, and I think it's really important that not only do we have the train, well, not only do we have a discrimination policy, or anti discrimination, harassment policy, but we also then I need to make sure we're doing training on it. And then we also need to have a process for them to complain to us, right, we need to have a process. And so maybe that's coming to their supervisor, maybe that's coming to their HR person, maybe that's coming to an executive, but there needs to be something in writing to go, Hey, this happening to you, we don't want that happening to you. Please come talk to us so we can take care of this. Our goal as HR professionals, is always to keep things in house, so we can deal with them in house before the EEOC before a lawyer gets involved, because that's just gonna cause us headaches, and costs and fines and all that kind of stuff. Sure. So, you know, and nowadays, hey, it's commonplace to train for companies to train employees, and, and, and, and and managers on how to reduce liability for sexual harassment, but in 1998, and remember, her situation happened in 1994. And then four years later, in 1998. This was a whole new concept, folks. I mean, this was a big deal. And the battle lines were drawn, you know, 1998, the US Chamber of Commerce there on the side of Burlington, there are a lot of big name type of organizations that were on the side of the company, but there were just as many on the side of Kimberly l earth. And it makes sense, right? I mean, I think companies were scared that they were going to be sued if somebody walked into their office and says I'm being sexually harassed by the supervisor because Let's face it, if I'm going to sue somebody, I am always going after the person with the deepest pockets, and that it will always be an organization versus an individual. Yeah. And so I can understand there's that fear there. But I think some simple steps that we've outlined today will hopefully reduce that risk in your organization. Now, the biggest risk is your supervisors in this case, and just making sure they understand what they can and cannot do. And if they're not doing that, right. or doing something against policy, that they're immediately disciplined or dismissed. Yeah. So the bottom line, as as, as we've we've kind of, we've thrown all this out, ladies and gentlemen and to our listeners. But the bottom line is a good faith effort equals a good faith, defense companies cannot just have a policy in a handbook. They need to train it to their employees, they need to have training for all their supervisors and all leaders in the company in regard to their responsibility for behaving properly. And foreseeing and reporting harassing behaviors of others, everyone at the company has a piece of responsibility. And companies need to go above and beyond to show this. Yeah, and I think that's great. And it's so here's what's running through my mind right now, Chuck, and I think this is what we should do. For our listeners, I think we want to go back to 1974. And the Meritor Savings Bank case, which really started and really set the Supreme Court on it was a nine, zero ruling in that case, and I think we want to go back and really understand, hey, what is really happening, what's going on, and really get into some of the language that they use to interpret that law. So let's do that. Can we do that in the next episode? Oh, my gosh, we are going back in time, folks. We were I thought 94 was a long time ago. We're going back to 1974. Episode Three. I love it. Okay, good. All right. So let's do that. So any final thoughts? Chuck? No, that's it is a good faith effort equals a good faith, defense. And the bottom line is, if you're out there, and you hear these empty threats, it just comments, comments out there. Those can create an atmosphere of sexual harassment. Yeah, I think that's great. Yeah. And so as you're listening to this, please connect with us on Facebook Connect with us on LinkedIn, on our Facebook and our LinkedIn post, what we do is, as things come up, that apply to what we're talking about court cases that are out there, now, we'll throw them in there. And so that'll kind of give you like, Oh, this is still happening today. Or, oh, that's their interpretation. These are what things are going on. To help you better understand our goal is for you not to become the story. Our goal is for you to think learn from other people's mistakes. And so that's why we tell these stories, because when we know what people did, we can then be better at it and make better choices as we go forward. So thank you guys for listening today. And thank you, we'll see you back in 1974 for Episode Three. Thank you for listening to HR stories podcast. The material presented in this podcast is for informational purposes only. Chuck and john always recommend using the employment lawyer to handle any legal HR issues. We do our best to double check sources. Make sure the information we're providing is accurate. We may eliminate or embellish without changing the basic narrative to make the story easier to understand, and certain circumstances may change in identifying information to protect the innocent. If you have any questions please reach out. Reach out to us at help at HR stories, podcast calm. Thank you for listening to the HR stories Podcast, where there is a lesson every story