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It’s not always easy to accommodate disabled employees. You want to follow the law, but you also want to make sure that the employee isn’t a danger to herself or others if she has a serious condition like epilepsy. But it is possible to handle these tricky situations right—as the employer did in this case.
Judges see a lot. It’s usually pretty easy for them to figure out when an employer is trying to use “the lousy economy” as a pretext to discriminate against an employee. But judges are also good at recognizing when discrimination hasn’t been a factor in an employment decision.
When you have to fire a protected-class employee for sexual harassment, there’s always the fear that he will turn around and sue for discrimination. But remember: Credibility plays a part in deciding what happened in cases of alleged harassment. If a respected and trusted employee made the harassment accusation, the fired worker will have a hard time winning a lawsuit.
It’s a legitimate workplace fear: Someone with emotional or mental problems will act out against co-workers. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly. Most of the time, threats of violence are just words. But words are enough to justify firing an employee who expresses intent to do harm, because of the fear that it instills in others.