Have you had it with an employee who can’t seem to get along with others and who constantly tries to intimidate co-workers? If warnings don’t help, fire him.
Recent case: Brady worked as a registered nurse for a health care facility. He had to be transferred to different departments several times after getting into arguments with predominately female co-workers.
Several women described Brady’s behavior as intimidating, threatening and just plain frightening. He would lean over the employee he was arguing with, slam doors and drawers and generally seemed unable to contain his anger.
Brady was finally fired about nine months after he filed a complaint alleging discrimination based on sex, age and height. The complaint had already been dismissed at the time he was terminated.
Still, Brady sued, alleging retaliation for filing the complaint. The basis of his claim: He alleged female co-workers who got angry had received more favorable treatment.
The court disagreed. It said the employer had ample evidence that Brady’s angry outbursts were of a different quality than his co-workers’ behavior. It threw out his case. (West v. Allina Health System, No. 11-287, DC MN, 2012)
Final note: Document all bad behavior. Your records should support your conclusion that an employee is disruptive. Those records should also show how you punished him and others whose behavior qualified as disruptive.
Details count. Bland descriptions like “got angry” aren’t good enough. Note exactly what the employee did that made his behavior threatening.
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- Unionized? You may be able to use progressive discipline to address some forms of harassment