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Log problems, improvement efforts before terminating

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Occasionally, you’ll run across an employee who has a hard time performing up to expectations and won’t accept suggestions to improve. If he belongs to a protected class, you may worry about a lawsuit if you terminate him.

That shouldn’t be a problem if you take the time to document problems before termination and check to make sure other employees with similar performance problems were treated similarly.

Recent case: James Culbert, who is black, worked for Hilti Tools. His supervisor tried numerous times to get him to work better with customers and co-workers, to no avail. His sales numbers were also low.

Hilti terminated him and he sued, alleging discrimination.

But he couldn’t show that others were treated better or that he hadn’t had a chance to improve. (Culbert v. Hilti, No. 10-C-3868, ND IL, 2011)

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