If economic conditions force you to downsize, be prepared for lawsuits. That's especially true if no employees stand out as obvious poor performers who should be canned. In such cases, articulate that you have no choice but to fire "the worst of the best." Usethat were prepared before the downsizing to justify your choices. That makes it hard for lawyers to paint a discriminatory picture.
Recent case: When MetLife targeted its data-analysis division for a rif, it selected the lowest-ranking employees for termination. The company selected Anthony Marione, even though he was performing at acceptable levels. He sued, alleging age bias, but the 3rd Circuit tossed out the case. Reason: Marione couldn't point to any evidence that MetLife's stated reason for his selection (to eliminate the "worst of the best") was a pretext for age discrimination. (Marione v. MetLife, No. 05-2359, 2006)
- What should we have said—and say in the future—about an employee fired for theft?
- More discrimination suits filed against Savannah police chief
- Know Texas deadlines for bias complaints
- Act fast to stop any potential retaliation against worker who complains about bias, harassment
- Can we tamp down political discussions?