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How to head off race bias lawsuits: Have the hiring manager also handle firing

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Common sense says that if a manager hires someone knowing that she belongs to a protected class, the manager probably won’t turn around a few months later and fire the new employee because she belongs to that protected class.

That’s why you should make it a policy that the same managers who make hiring decisions also make termination decisions.

Recent case: Donna Banks-Bey, who is black, was hired for a job that required her to use the telephone to gather background information to verify the accuracy of employee applications. She had no experience, but underwent extensive training.

Banks-Bey continually missed production and accuracy goals that her co-workers had no trouble meeting. Over her 18 months of employment, she was offered additional training and encouraged to improve her performance. Typically, she improved for a few weeks but then slipped back, producing substandard results. Finally, the same managers who had hired her recommended her termination for poor performance.

She sued, alleging race discrimination.

The court said that when the same person who hires an applicant winds up terminating that same employee, juries may infer that there was no discrimination at work. (Banks-Bey v. Acxiom, et al., No. 1:09-CV-1249, ND OH, 2010)

Final note: Make it routine: The one who hires also fires. The same decision-makers who made the hiring decision should also terminate the employee, unless they have left the company or moved to other positions.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 19, 2015 at 4:22 pm

This comment above about the Managers working the system is ridiculous. I was also a former employee and I know the work in production was structured and metrics driven, intense and stressful at times. If you didn’t meet the goals then other options including retraining were offered and if that did not work then you were put on an Improvement Plan. The Managers did not have the time to “work the system” and conspire to get employees fired! This isn’t a movie, it’s real life with companies offering services to their clients. What a waste of their time to go through countless interviews to only turn around and fire months later and then spend more time interviewing, hiring, training.
Good grief :(

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Anonymous March 6, 2013 at 12:44 am

I’am a former acxiom employee of this location. I can GUARANTEE that the Defendants to this case are all working the system. They purposely had this woman fired. Lynette Whitney and ESPECIALLY Sheryl Toth are all deceivers. When an employee is hired and immediately this person does not brown nose, they are FIRED. The defendants schemed a plan and took all measures to get this woman fired. ACXIOM MANAGEMENT IS DIRTY

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