Giving different reasons for an employee's termination may be a little confusing for the employee, at best; at worst, giving different reasons may constitute pretext for discrimination in the eyes of a court. What's the distinction? As the following two cases show, the reasons for the termination can be different, as long as they are consistent.
Different and inconsistent: After missing a week of work due to a work-related injury, an employee requested time off for shoulder surgery. Rather than grant his request, his supervisor informed him thatmade the decision to lay him off and that they didn't need a reason. When the employee pressed for an explanation, the supervisor stated that it was due to a lack of work. The company later claimed that the employee had been fired for cause as a result of accumulated misconduct — he had been written up for misconduct on five occasions.
The employee sued, c...(register to read more)