It seems like some lawsuits come out of nowhere. You simply can’t predict who will sue. But you can take steps to ensure that most employee lawsuits will fail, especially when it comes to discipline.
The key is to make sure similar misconduct yields similar punishment, regardless of the employee’s race, sex, age or other protected characteristic. It’s also critical for HR to track discipline carefully and insist on reviewing all serious cases that may result in a demotion, transfer or termination.
If you do have a good reason for issuing different punishments, make sure you put those reasons in writing. If you can explain why the situations aren’t the same, you will be in the clear.
Recent case: Milton Luster, who is black, worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections. At one point, he had an affair with co-worker Christine Cole, who is white.
During one fateful shift after their affair had ended, Luster, Cole and sever...(register to read more)