Because employees have to meet tight deadlines for most employment discrimination claims, employers should be ready to prove exactly when they notified employees about a pending termination.
With an exact date at your fingertips, you can easily get a case dismissed if the employee waited too long to file.
Recent case: Cheryl Klefas worked as a restaurant shift supervisor until she was discharged. Later, Klefas decided she had been fired because of age discrimination and sued.
But she didn’t file her EEOC complaint until 500 days had passed. Klefas claimed she hadn’t figured out her termination might have been age-related until well after she was terminated.
The court said that didn’t matter. The clock started when the employer said it told Klefas she was terminated. It dismissed the case. (Klefas v. Tim Hortons USA, No. 07-13503, ED MI, 2009)
- Remind all decision-makers: Age-related comments almost always lead to courtroom
- Stop harassment with warning, then follow up to confirm problem was really solved
- Use plain language on work documents so everyone can understand them
- Note date when worker first learns of lost job
- The ICE man cometh ... with a notice of intent to audit