By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Is it illegal sex discrimination to ask your secretary to bring you coffee?
A Philadelphia receptionist was required by the managers in her office to make them coffee. With some sugar, sugar. No, really just with some sugar.
All they wanted was the coffee. She sued the bosses for sex discrimination – and lost. The court said that simply being told that making coffee is part of the job description of receptionist where there are no other examples of gender-based treatment is not enough to win a claim for sex discrimination. In order to win a sex discrimination case, you have to prove that you were treated differently because of your gender. But the Court in Philadelphia found that any receptionist, male or female, would have been asked to perform the same task.
No one should be in the position of asking coffee, tea, or me – but perhaps all offices would run better if everyone remembered that no gender or position exempts them from brewing a fresh pot.