Don't leave any doubt about when workers are on vacation. Michael Pelletier's employer fired him after 20 years on the job, claiming he failed to show up for three days and didn't call. Pelletier said he was scheduled to be on vacation. But his supervisor's calendar said the vacation was slated for the following week. After the firing, a much younger worker was hired as a replacement. Pelletier sued for age discrimination and won a $150,000 jury award. In upholding the award, the state appeals court criticized the way the company recorded vacation requests as "rather informal."(Pelletier v. Rumpke Container Service,
No. C-000258, Ohio CA, 2001)
- What's likely to happen when an employee waits two months to charge harassment?
- Fire offender to decouple discrimination, employment action
- Make firing decisions locally so possible lawsuit can't morph into something larger
- Take fast action to investigate apparent rogue supervisor
- Look at job duties, not signed pact, to decide employee/contractor status