Following EEOC victory, carefully consider conditions you include in last-chance agreements

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

In a significant legal victory, the EEOC has persuaded a federal court to limit what employers can in­­clude in so-called last-chance agreements.

The court concluded that the EEOC was right when it argued that agreements threatening retaliation are illegal and that employers can’t provide employees with an ultimatum to give up their right to sue in exchange for keeping their jobs despite poor performance.

Recent case: Steven Whitlow, a less-than-stellar performer, received several oral warnings and a disciplinary suspension before the Cognis Group insisted on a formal counseling session. Nothing worked.

But instead of outright terminating Whitlow, Cognis followed its usual practice: It offered him one last chance to improve his performance in lieu of immediate termination.

Cognis’ last-chance agreements are take-it-or-leave-it propositions. Cognis’ employees must agree that, for a full two years, they will meet every perform...(register to read more)

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