Smart employers have policies that require supervisors to document all discipline. That documentation can come in handy if a discharged employee decides to sue. The fact is, employers usually win lawsuits if they show they had a legitimate reason for an employment decision. Good records make that easy.
Recent case: Saonarah was fired from her job at a correctional facility and sued, alleging disability discrimination and retaliation for requesting an accommodation and reporting sexual harassment.
She lost the case after her former employer showed the court Saonarah was terminated for leaving an inmate’s cell door unlocked and bringing a cellphone into the facility against employer policy. She had nothing else indicating that the underlying reason was not the real reason she was fired—just a hunch. That’s not good enough to win. (Jeudy v. Attorney General, Department of Justice, No. 11-15838, 11th Cir., 2012)
- Supreme Court's new term: Arbitration, disparate impact on docket
- Fair treatment wins when whistle-blower sues
- Firing? Follow the 2-and-1 rule: Two company reps, one reason for termination
- Same incident, two punishments: Be able to explain why one was harsher
- Even lost opportunity for overtime may be considered illegal retaliation