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Don’t let chronic complainer scare you from legit discipline

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Some employees see discrimination everywhere and constantly complain. How you react can mean the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit.

Keep cool no matter how often the employee runs to the EEOC. Focus on his work, not the complaints, and treat him like every other employee.

Recent case: Richard Botelho, who is white, worked as an animal care inspector for the federal government. When management started hearing complaints about Botelho, he got defensive. Then he filed several EEOC claims alleging that the complaints were false and that his employer had targeted him because he is a white male.

Still, the complaints piled up, the agency investigated and suspended Botelho for poor conduct.

Botelho sued and lost. The court said it was clear the government had followed standard procedures and only disciplined him after completing an investigation. (Botelho v. Johanns, No. 09-11072, 11th Cir., 2009)

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