Don’t Rely on ‘Same-Actor’ Defense — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Don’t Rely on ‘Same-Actor’ Defense

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Q. If an employee claims she was discriminated against by the same supervisor who hired and fired her, does the employer have a defense to the discrimination claim? —S.D., New Jersey

A. Yes, but such a so-called “same-actor” defense isn't absolute or foolproof. The fact that the same person hired and later fired a worker implies that bias wasn't the real motive behind the decision. In court, many holes can be poked in a same-actor defense. Bottom line: Don't rely on it when making personnel decisions.

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