Q. About four months ago, we gave a pay raise to a marginal employee who is pregnant, in hopes that it would improve her job performance by boosting her morale. Unfortunately, her performance has gone from bad to worse. If we fire her for, can she successfully argue that the recent raise indicates that she was performing well and that our reason for terminating her was discriminatory?
A. Yes, she could argue that giving her a raise is inconsistent with viewing her as a marginal performer. Is there documentation in her personnel file reflecting poor performance?
Before terminating the employee, it would be better to try to manage her performance and meet with her to outline expectations. Then, you will have a record showing that you communicated with her about her performance deficiencies and gave her an opportunity to improve.