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Lesson of Reeves: Give reason for employment decision

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources

When making an employment decision (such as firing, hiring, demotion), it's important for your words and actions to be consistent with your true reasons. It's equally vital that you document and provide witnesses for such decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court made this point clear in its recent decision in Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products Inc., an age discrimination case. (120 S. Ct. 2097)

Sound obvious? It's not. Many employers mistakenly believe it's better to say little or nothing at the time of decisions such as terminations, or to offer a less confrontational reason for their actions to avoid offending the employee or provoking a lawsuit.

Taking the path of least resistance, however, may backfire.

Disbelief not enough

Under Reeves, if a court has reason to disbelieve your explanation, if only because of a feeling that you were unfair, insensitive or inconsistent, it could increase the risk of your bein...(register to read more)

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