It’s difficult to predict which employee will be the next to sue. That’s why your best defense is to treat every major employment-related decision as a potential lawsuit.
How? Back it up with a solid, business-related justification.
Recent case: Iva Lue-Martin, a black woman of Jamaican origin, was hired as an HR manager with March Group in February 2002.
Later, the company engaged consultants to review its business practices. The consultants concluded that March Group needed to add a comptroller, reorganize work and outsource payroll functions.
The company said it didn’t have money to do so and the consultants then suggested that Lue-Martin’s position could be eliminated, outsourcing her tasks or distributing them among other employees. March terminated Lue-Martin a little over a year after taking the job.
She sued, alleging discrimination.
But the company was ready with a solid business reason for its termination decision: The consultants had recommended the action based on genuine business needs. Lue-Martin couldn’t point to anything else that even hinted at national origin, race or sex discrimination. (Lue-Martin v. March Group, No. 08-4128, 3rd Cir., 2010)
Final note: Don’t rely strictly on memory to explain termination decisions. Instead, get everything down on paper so you can easily retrieve it later. This practice also builds discipline and can prevent hidden agendas from poisoning decisions. Just as you never know which employee will sue, you never know which supervisor harbors secret prejudices.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/12014/lawsuit-proof-your-hr-operations-document-business-reason-for-every-decision "
- Don't let FMLA trip you up: Have HR investigate leave abuse
- Don't withhold promised severance when a former employee files suit
- Clerk wins more than $350,000 in disability discrimination suit
- How to counsel employees who have personal problems
- Firing reason doesn't have to be perfect to withstand discrimination claims