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Presumably, when you terminate an employee, you have good reasons for doing so. Carefully document your rationale and then stick with it.

If you pile on more reasons later, it may look as if you are trying to cover up a discriminatory decision with a host of excuses for why you fired the employee.

Recent case: Lisa Holland was a technician for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. She became pregnant, and sued when she was fired soon after for poor performance.

However, as she began the lawsuit process, different people involved in her termination came up with reasons other than performance. One person said the department no longer needed her services.

The contradictory explanations were enough to send her pregnancy and sex discrimination and retaliation case to trial for a jury to sort out. (Holland v. Gee, No. 8:08-CV-2458, MD FL, 2010)

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