Occasionally, you’ll run across an employee who has a hard time performing up to expectations and won’t accept suggestions to improve. If he belongs to a protected class, you may worry about a lawsuit if you terminate him.
That shouldn’t be a problem if you take the time to document problems before termination and check to make sure other employees with similarwere treated similarly.
Recent case: James Culbert, who is black, worked for Hilti Tools. His supervisor tried numerous times to get him to work better with customers and co-workers, to no avail. His sales numbers were also low.
Hilti terminated him and he sued, alleging discrimination.
But he couldn’t show that others were treated better or that he hadn’t had a chance to improve. (Culbert v. Hilti, No. 10-C-3868, ND IL, 2011)