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Good documentation wins cases–even sensitive ones

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

Having complete records of why you disciplined an employee often gives a court the information it needs to decide whether you’ve discriminated—or even retaliated against someone who has leveled serious charges against you.

Recent case: Ivan Valtchev worked as a teacher for New York City. He complained to the school district that the children he taught, who had disabilities, were not getting the kind of education they were entitled to under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Then, when he got a negative performance review, Valtchev sued, alleging that the review was retaliation for supporting disability rights. The lawsuit also said he had been the victim of discrimination.

Fortunately for the school district, it had plenty of proof that Valtchev was a poor-performing teacher, predating his complaints. The case was dismissed. (Valtchev v. City of New York, et al., No. 09-CV-4145, 2nd Cir., 2010)

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