Thursday, September 25, 2008

Personal foul - 15-yard penalty - third and long

I am a Vol fan. I love them through thick and thin, and if you follow Tennessee football, you know we're in one of those thin (or maybe it's thick?) times.

I do not like losing, and I do not like to watch my teams lose. This is especially true when it appears that the tide might have been changed but for a few unnecessary actions. Case in point is the title to this blog. Again, if you follow the Vols, you probably guessed that the reference is to Arian Foster's personal foul penalty after ripping off a 9-yard run in the Vols' opening drive. That turned an easily-convertible 2nd-and-1 into a not-a-chance 3rd-and-16.

If you don't follow the Vols, you are perhaps asking, "What was the personal foul?" It was a shove of a Florida player by Foster at the end of his run. What's even worse is that Foster appeared to be retaliating against the Florida player for some antics during and immediately after Foster was tackled.

The Florida player started it.

Foster retaliated.

Only one team was penalized for its player's actions. And it wasn't the team that started the poor conduct.

It reminded me of one of the most dangerous risks for my clients. Often, it's the second "foul" that gets flagged. For many employers, the danger in discrimination charges and litigation rests not with the facts that led to the allegations, but with what happened once the allegations were made. Yes, I've blogged about it before, but it bears repeating: retaliation is the claim that sticks around even if the underlying harassment/discrimination claim is found meritless.

Let me beat the drum once more: train your managers and supervisors on the dangers of retaliation claims, and train your employees on the importance of refraining from retaliating.

“Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.”--Anonymous

'Sko Vols!

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