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Keep memos, other documents leading up to discipline

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

You never know which employee is going to be the one who will sue over discipline. But one thing is certain: When she does, you’ll need every bit of documentary evidence you can find to justify your decision.

Recent case: Bonnie Shinn was terminated for poor performance and sued, alleging she had been targeted because she took FMLA leave.

But her employer had a huge file documenting progressive discipline, including interoffice memos and Shinn’s own memos reacting to poor performance evaluations. Those memos helped sink her case because she admitted to doing a less-than-stellar job.

They also shed light on her difficult personality because they included snide remarks addressed to her supervisor about his performance. (Shinn v. Afton Chemical, No. 08-CV-0632, SD IL, 2009)

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