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Tainted Terminations: Who Can You Trust to Evaluate Performance?

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So you’ve had enough. The employee messed up big time again and you can’t take it any more. Thank goodness all your ducks have been lined up by a supervisor who documented previous poor performance. There’s even a “last chance” agreement in the employee’s file. What a gift!

Go ahead and pull the plug. This is a worry-free decision, right? Not so fast, as a new court ruling shows. First, you better make sure the previous documentation was written by an unbiased supervisor. This begs the timely question: “Who can you trust any more?”

Case in Point: Eileen Lanahan was an administrative worker for a local government in Nevada. Her supervisor, Jerry Boyd, repeatedly disciplined Lanahan for alleged performance issues, including attendance problems and failing to follow through on work assignments. Eventually, Boyd suspended Lanahan for three days for alleged tardiness, falsification of time records and dishonesty.

It didn’t stop th...(register to read more)

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina June 18, 2009 at 10:49 am

I have actually worked for Corporations where Managers get away with anything they want unless the employee is brave enough to come forward and say something regarding their managers. They always seem to win unless they dont know better. I feel that she deserves to be heard and treated fairly.


SFinAZ March 6, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Cats Paw


Bob March 6, 2009 at 11:45 am

Curious. Did the employer not bring up the fact that Lanahan never reported the manager misconduct? (assume this to be true since it is not brought up) Her claim claim of “gender and age” appears weak in the text above. You didn’t mention that there were other similarly situated individuals.

This appears to be more of a harassment and retaliation claim than an age/gender issue. Would the employer have an opportunity for an affirmative defense if Lanahan did not use the reporting avenues available (assuming she was trained on them)?


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