When it comes to discipline, the primary rule is to treat similar rule violations alike. That means you’ll have to punish all kinds of people for misbehaving, even if they’re members of a protected class. Don’t hesitate to do so if their behavior warrants it.
If a minority employee commits a substantially egregious offense that might superficially resemble conduct other employees have engaged in, courts will forgive seemingly disparate treatment—as long as you document exactly why the two offenses aren’t as similar as they appeared at first. That means including details to explain the differences in any memos you create.
Recent case: Pedro Gonzalez was the only man assigned to the help desk responsible for solving IT problems for fellow employees at CPS Energy. The other eight technicians were women. Gonzalez was placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP) because his supervisor believed he was underperforming. An...(register to read more)
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