Employees tend to get angry if management dismisses or turns a blind eye to some perceived injustice. That anger may manifest itself in many ways, including refusing to cooperate with reasonable requests. You don’t have to put up with that passive-aggressive behavior.
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If you don’t have a chance to personally observe an employee’s behavior, don’t rely solely on a supervisor’s termination recommendation. Instead, conduct an independent investigation to verify the supervisor’s claim. Otherwise, any employment decision based on that recommendation can be tainted by the supervisor’s hidden bias.
Employees who claim some form of discrimination are protected from retaliation. But that doesn’t mean employers can’t discipline employees who have complained. The key is to make sure any discipline is based on legitimate concerns and doesn’t go beyond that which other employees who didn’t complain would receive.
With the most recent U.S. Supreme Court pronouncement on retaliation, it’s now clearly impermissible to punish someone who is closely related to an employee who has filed an EEOC complaint or lawsuit. But you can protect yourself by limiting who within the company knows about litigation.
Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual harassment and to end it when it does occur. But many times, what a thin-skinned employee considers harassment isn’t actually serious enough to rise to that level. When that happens, smart employers exercise patience. They understand the very real danger of winning a sexual harassment case but losing the retaliation case that follows.