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When discipline differs, be ready to explain why

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in Human Resources

Employees often sue for discrimination when they suffer harsher discipline than co-workers did. You can counter those bias claims by having clear records that show how you decided on the specific discipline each employee received. Explain why the punishments were different.

Having racked up prior discipline is a legitimate explanation. Someone with no record may deserve leniency.

Recent case: Glenda Cain, who is black, sued after being fired from her cafeteria job for having another employee clock her in before she actually arrived. A white man who had also manipulated his start time wasn’t fired.

But Cain had previously been disciplined for dishonesty when she let a relative eat without paying.

When the court compared Cain’s checkered disciplinary history with the man’s spotless past, it tossed out Cain’s case. (Cain v. Wellspan, No. 1:08-CV-1704, MD PA, 2009)

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