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Document business realities, performance ­criteria that led to job-cutting decisions

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

During tough economic times, businesses often have to cut labor budgets and eliminate positions. Smart employers make sure they document that process with facts and figures—just in case an affected employee decides to sue and tries to parlay a few stray, insensitive comments into the “real” reason she lost her job.

With clear business reasons to counter suddenly remembered slights, those random comments won’t sink you in court.

Recent case: Kelley, who is black, was in a management training program with Otis Elevator Co. She frequently ranked near the bottom of her class in the training program and missed sales targets.

When the economy didn’t improve as fast as Otis thought it would, man­­agers prepared a list of employees to cut in a reduction in force. Kelley was placed on the list because of her less-than-stellar performance and the company’s need to reduce the head count in her department.

After she was terminated, Kell...(register to read more)

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