How to handle recently uncovered work problems — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

How to handle recently uncovered work problems

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in Firing,Human Resources

Sometimes, it looks like an employee has been performing just fine—until someone discovers that her work was really subpar all along.

Before you discipline or fire the worker, document what you discovered (and when) so you can explain away prior good performance reviews.

Recent case: Miriam, who is Hispanic and from Panama, worked for an agency that provides residential services to adults with developmental disabilities.

She was in charge of creating treatment plans and tracking residents’ personal spending to ensure their funds were accounted for.

Then, irregularities were discovered with those records. Management decided it had to hire additional personnel to fix the problem and also revise the job description for the position Miriam held. It now requires a bachelor’s degree, which Miriam lacked.

Miriam was fired, both because she no longer met the job requirements and because of her performance problems.

She sued, alleging race and national-origin discrimination.

The court tossed out her lawsuit, noting that the agency had discovered deficiencies in Miriam’s work and that changing the job requirements was a legitimate business move under the circumstances. (Hanzer v. Mentor Network, No. 14-4333, 3rd Cir., 2015)

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