Worker claimed retaliation? Don’t fear legitimate firing

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Sometimes, employees think all it takes to keep from being fired is a well-timed complaint alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation. That, they reason, will scare an employer into overlooking poor performance or even criminal behavior. Don’t fall for it.

Recent case:
Jeanine Pelnarsh worked for RR Donnelley and had a company credit card in her name to purchase office supplies. She would later admit to having charged almost $60,000 worth of goods and services for herself—and her daughter.

Along the way, Pelnarsh complained about being sexually harassed. Then, five months later, Donnelley fired her for credit card misuse. She also served a 90-day jail term for theft.

Pelnarsh sued for retaliation, but the court said it was obvious Donnelley had cause to fire her. (Pelnarsh v. RR Donnelley, No. 07-CV-1302, CD IL, 2009)

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