To avoid needless litigation, make sure someone else sits in on termination meetings.
Recent case: Kathryn Quinn took frequentfrom her job when a back condition flared up. She was called into a meeting after she returned to work with what supervisors believed was a questionable medical excuse. Two managers attended.
Quinn was told she was being fired for falsifying a medical note. Then one of the managers left the room. Quinn later alleged that was when she was informed she was really being fired because she took too much.
She sued and the court said her case should go before a jury based on the statement. The jury will have to decide who is telling the truth. (Quinn v. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, No. 09-4327, ED PA, 2011)
- In RIFs, Show That Economics (Not Age) Drove Your Decision
- Be consistent: Don't slap harasser on wrist, then fire victim
- OK to treat similar rule violations differently--as long as you document your rationale
- Give HR the last word on terminations: Supervisor bias can taint firing decisions
- FMLA: Second medical opinion is your option