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Independent review protects against hidden supervisor bias

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in Human Resources

Despite your best efforts, a rogue supervisor occasionally slips through. He may harbor discriminatory attitudes that can color his termination and disciplinary decisions. And you may end up responsible if you blindly go along with those decisions.

But you can cut that chain by doing a little independent digging into what really happened. Then document your efforts to get both sides of the story.

Recent case: Peter Brown claimed that his direct supervisor illegally discriminated when he recommended Brown be terminated. But the employer had another supervisor review the termination request and gave Brown a chance to tell his side of the story. Ultimately he was fired.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that by independently investigating, the employer wouldn’t be held liable for the supervisor’s “hidden discriminatory motives.” (Brown v. Napolitano, No. 09-14048, 11th Cir., 2010)

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