The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has made it clear that it isn’t interested in interfering unnecessarily withdecisions.
Recent case: Shirley Santillana, who is white, was terminated from her supervisory job after failing to get along with a headstrong black subordinate. The employer also said her computer skills were poor.
Santillana sued, alleging that she was actually fired because her employer feared that the subordinate was going to file a discrimination lawsuit and decided to let Santillana go instead.
The court tossed out her case out. It said that, absent evidence to back up Santillana’s claim, it wouldn’t second-guess the termination decision. (Santillana v. Florida State Court System, No. 11-11333, 11th Cir., 2012)
Final note: The lesson here is that as long as you have a rational reason for discharging an employee, chances are your decision won’t be questioned.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- One rule, two employees, two violations: Document why discipline wasn't identical
- Use 'fresh-start' policy to cut retaliation risk
- Get all facts straight before deciding to discharge
- Don't extend disciplinary periods due to FMLA or military absences