Not every terminated employee sues, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. If you fire someone for breaking a rule, note which one.
Recent case: Annie, who is black, was fired from her part-time night job at a nursing home after a co-worker accused her of stealing food from the kitchen. At the same time, three other night shift employees were accused of other rule violations, such as sleeping on the job and failing to properly supervise the night staff. Two were white and one was black. Everyone caught up in the resulting investigation was deemed to have broken a rule and was fired.
Annie sued, alleging discrimination. But she couldn’t point to anyone who broke a rule who wasn’t fired. Her case was dismissed. (Booker v. Garden Manor, No. 1:11-CV-660, SD OH, 2012)
- Partner or employee? Degree of control matters
- Employees who sue and lose are now more likely liable for court costs
- Snoozing on the job? Discipline OK under ADA
- It may be scandalous, but reporting co-worker sexual shenanigans isn't protected activity
- EEOC persuades court that lactation discrimination is gender bias