When discipline differs, be ready to explain why — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

When discipline differs, be ready to explain why

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Employees often sue for discrimination when they suffer harsher discipline than co-workers did. You can counter those bias claims by having clear records that show how you decided on the specific discipline each employee received. Explain why the punishments were different.

Having racked up prior discipline is a legitimate explanation. Someone with no record may deserve leniency.

Recent case: Glenda Cain, who is black, sued after being fired from her cafeteria job for having another employee clock her in before she actually arrived. A white man who had also manipulated his start time wasn’t fired.

But Cain had previously been disciplined for dishonesty when she let a relative eat without paying.

When the court compared Cain’s checkered disciplinary history with the man’s spotless past, it tossed out Cain’s case. (Cain v. Wellspan, No. 1:08-CV-1704, MD PA, 2009)

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