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Don’t be afraid to fire insubordinate supervisor

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Not everyone is cut out to be a boss. Some employees just can’t direct others or criticize their work. Their subordinates then miss out on opportunities to improve and overall company productivity falls short of its potential. If a supervisor can’t—or won’t—do his job, termination may be inevitable.

Recent case: Adonis, who is black, worked as a supervisor at the Trans­­portation Security Administration (TSA). He often deleted emails without opening them, uniformly gave his subordinates sterling evaluations, refused direct orders to prepare more critical and comprehensive evaluations and failed to discipline a tardy worker.

The TSA fired him and he sued, alleging race discrimination. He didn’t get past the initial stage of the lawsuit because it was clear to the court that the agency had the right to expect more from him. (Whitby v. Napolitano, No. 11-10861, 11th Cir., 2012)

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