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Minor mistakes aren’t enough to prove bias

by on
in Firing

If you sometimes agonize over firing an employee for fear of litigation, relax. As long as you act honestly, the employee probably can’t successfully sue.

Recent case: Nashwa Deabes lost her job at a GNC store while she was on vacation because the company said she didn’t have prior approval for the time off. She sued, claiming the real rea­son she was fired was national-origin discrimination.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed her case. It said Deabes’ evidence merely cast some doubt about the company’s actions. She was able to show that GNC may have made a mistake when it terminated her for not being authorized to take leave. But a mistake like that couldn’t prove bias unless there was other evidence that her national origin was somehow a factor. (Deabes v. GNC, No. 10-1742, 2nd Cir., 2011)

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