Make sure documentation backs up reason for firing

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in Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Be specific and accurate about why you’re terminating employees, and spell it out in your records.

Fired employees often sue, alleging that they were treated less favorably than other employees outside their protected class. To prove that in court, employees have to show that the other employees committed the same violation or mistake and weren’t fired.

That’s hard to counter if your records aren’t clear and complete.

Recent case: Delonn Wade, who is black, had performance problems. Then he got mad at his boss and loudly threatened to get him fired.

Wade was then fired himself, for the threat plus poor performance. He sued, alleging a white employee had threatened the same boss and wasn’t fired.

But that employee had a good performance history. Therefore, the court said, the comparison wasn’t valid. It dismissed Wade’s case. (Wade v. ATMI Packaging, No. A10-579, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2010)

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