Even if someone else in the management hierarchy actually terminates an employee, a supervisor who’s seemingly had it in for the employee can still cause a world of legal headaches for the employer. This is the so-called “cat’s paw” legal theory, which holds that employers are liable if they approve a recommendation that is based on illegal motives such as retaliation.
The EEOC recently filed suit against AHD Houston, claiming that Mary Bassi, a waitress at Cover Girls strip club, was fired because of her age. The federal agency brought suit against the strip club’s parent company, arguing that Bassi was fired and replaced by younger servers even though she was popular with customers …
Employers often get into trouble when they punish someone who has filed an internal harassment or discrimination complaint. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discipline employees for legitimate reasons just because they filed an unrelated complaint. The key is being able to show a good reason for your actions.
Employees who are fired have little to lose and everything to gain by filing a discrimination lawsuit. That’s why you should be prepared to show exactly why you terminated an employee and how the punishment fit the crime—especially if others kept their jobs after similar violations.
Some fired employees, unable to move on, file multiple lawsuits against their former employers. If that happens to you, take heart. Courts are starting to drop these cases early. They’re even beginning to consider sanctions against employees’ attorneys.
Law instructor Rosanne Platt has filed an EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division lawsuit against her former employer, the St. Mary’s University School of Law. Platt alleges that her contract was not renewed after her husband filed a lawsuit against the San Antonio law school.
A federal district court judge in Texas was recently sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about allegations that he sexually abused his secretary.
In 2007, the EEOC released a set of guidelines advising employers on issues related to caregiver bias. Following up on that issue, the commission has supplemented those guidelines with recommendations designed to help employers “reduce the chance of EEO violations against caregivers.” It’s imperative that companies begin to train managers and supervisors on the content of this most recent guidance.
If you punish two employees differently for what looks like the same rule violation or mistake, you’d better be prepared to explain why. If you are later challenged, you should be able to show that the two weren’t “similarly situated” and prove you didn’t favor one over the other.
In light of the H1N1 virus pandemic scare, now’s the time to make sure your organization has an effective pandemic plan in place. As public health officials prepare for a vaccination campaign this fall, here are 13 steps you can take to deal with H1N1.