Q. If an employee claims he was discriminated against by the same supervisor who hired and fired him, does the employer have a defense to the discrimination claim?
A. Yes, this scenario does provide the employer with a defense to a discrimination claim. The theory is that it is unlikely that the supervisor discriminated against the employee because of a protected characteristic when the same supervisor hired the employee knowing that he was a member of that protected class at the time of hire.
Although this provides a defense, it is not dispositive. It is still possible that a judge or jury could find that discrimination occurred, depending on the facts.
- Employee miffed about your decision? That's no reason to tolerate insubordination
- Retaliatory job reference is illegal even if a person's hiring was unlikely
- Padding your reasons for firing can build case against you
- How should we handle layoffs without risking discrimination claims?
- Even if you're wrong, you can fire employee who's on FMLA