Some employees rise to a challenge; others don’t. If you are worried that an employee you want to promote might not succeed but want to give her a chance, go ahead. As long as you give her ample training, it won’t appear to be a setup.
Recent case: Angela, a 50-year-old black woman of Nigerian ancestry, worked as a pharmacist at a Rite Aid store. The company promoted her to pharmacy district manager, believing that with training she would be able to do well. That didn’t happen. Despite several opportunities to improve her performance, she failed to make adequate progress and was terminated.
She sued, alleging age, race and national-origin discrimination.
But her case was dismissed when Rite Aid showed she simply couldn’t or wouldn’t learn the job. (Ekhato v. Rite Aid, No. 12-3607, 3rd Cir., 2013)