You probably know you must document all disciplinary actions. Take that a step further by categorizing the discipline.
Recent case: Tyrone, who is black, was a concierge at a Philadelphia condominium. He didn’t get along with another concierge and often got into shouting matches. Residents complained, and Tyrone was fired after one particularly heated argument with the co-worker.
He sued for sex discrimination, alleging that two other concierges, who happened to be women, had poor attendance records yet hadn’t been fired. Tyrone pointed out to the court that he had a perfect attendance record.
The court said that didn’t matter and quickly dismissed his case. (White v. Planned Security, et al., No. 11-4622, 3rd Cir., 2012)
Note: The key was the condo’s differentiation between two different reasons for discipline: poor attendance and causing loud disruptions.