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Log customer complaints to back up discipline

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Customers may not always be right, but employers can’t ignore their reasonable and lawful complaints.

Remember, you need to document those complaints at the time they happen—especially if it seems like a customer complaint might lead to employee discipline.

Recent case: Olga Diaz, who is from Honduras, worked in a beauty salon providing services like waxing. When she began having personal problems, customers began complaining that she wasn’t paying close attention to her work. One said she arrived late and rushed a waxing session, leaving welts. Another said the treatment was unusually painful. Based on the complaints, the salon fired Diaz.

She sued, claiming the reason had to be her national origin. But, the court quickly dismissed the case after reviewing a long list of customer complaints. (Diaz v. Mitchell’s Salon, No. 1:09-882, SD OH, 2011)

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