Court won’t second-guess good-faith firing decisions

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in Firing,Human Resources

Don’t agonize over terminating an employee for misconduct. You can be wrong about the underlying facts as long as you acted in good faith when making the firing decision.

Recent case: Gwendolyn Donald worked as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. While examining her receipts, Donald’s supervisor noticed what appeared to be an irregularity.

Some orders were rung up at full price and then marked as discounted later. In addition, her cash drawer was short a few dollars. The supervisor surmised that she might be collecting full price, entering the discount and pocketing the difference. Donald was taped taking orders and the pattern continued.

When she was terminated, she sued, arguing that she hadn’t stolen any money. The court said that was irrelevant. What mattered was that her employer honestly believed she did. (Donald v. Sybra, No. 10-2153, 6th Cir., 2012)

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