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On the other hand, sometimes quick termination works, too

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,HR Management,Human Resources

Sometimes you realize early on that a recent hire is not going to work out. He may have looked good on paper, but isn’t doing well on the job. It may then be time to cut your losses.

Recent case: James Duncan, a 64-year-old black male, was hired as a caretaker for an apartment complex. The next day, he was scheduled to meet a co-worker to tour the work site. When Duncan arrived, his new co-worker was a no-show.

Almost immediately, Duncan suspected some form of race discrimination. He complained to HR about being stood up at the work site. Meanwhile, he attended orientation and began working. But less than a month later, the company fired him, saying things weren’t working out.

He sued, alleging age and race discrimination and complaining that he had been made to do the “brunt of the dirty work.”

But the court tossed out the case, reasoning that Duncan couldn’t point to anything specific that showed discrimination on the company’s part. (Duncan v. LaSalle, No. 09-1574, DC MN, 2010)

Final note: You don’t necessarily have to tell an employee why you’re terminating him. But you still need to list a clear and well-documented reason in your files. That’s back-up you’ll need if the employee sues for discrimination or wrongful termination.

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