In this economy, employees who have been fired often resort to litigation. Jobs are scarce and litigation looks lucrative.
Smart employers protect themselves by carefully documenting exactly why they fired employees.
Recent case: Dolores got involved in an incident with a patient who was under her care. It was the last straw for her employer, which terminated her after receiving a complaint from the patient’s son.
Dolores sued, alleging that racism contributed to her discharge. She claimed the patient’s husband uttered a racial slur against her immediately after the incident.
But the employer explained that it fired Dolores because of her prior disciplinary history, of which the last incident was just one part. She had accumulated many warnings about patient care following complaints. The court tossed out her case. (Harrow v. St. Luke’s, No. 11-1680, 2nd Cir., 2012)