Here’s a tip if you use performance improvement plans (PIP) before termination. Track what happens to everyone who’s on a PIP. Note those who quit instead of facing discharge.
Recent case: Kris Radzanowski sold financial products. After taking, she returned to work to find that her new performance goals were significantly tougher than before. In fact, the company had raised everyone’s goals. Radzanowski struggled, was placed on a PIP and eventually terminated for failing to successfully complete the plan.
She sued, alleging pregnancy and sex discrimination. She claimed no man had ever been fired for not meeting PIP goals. But the company had an explanation: All men who had been placed on a PIP saw “the train coming” and quit.
Radzanowski was therefore unable to prove she was treated differently than male co-workers. Her case was dismissed. (Radzanowski v. Principal, No. 1:11-CV-463, ND OH, 2012)