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Track poor behavior even after improvement

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in Firing,Human Resources

Some employees will permanently per­­form and behave better if they believe their jobs are at stake. But for others, the improvement is only temporary.

That’s why it is important to track performance and behavior over time. You can still use the earlier problems as partial justification for termination.

Recent case: Carol had a propen­­sity to inappropriate outbursts. She was placed on a performance im­­provement plan and did improve—temporarily. Then she backslid, asking her supervisor whether she had “stopped taking” her medication.

She was fired and sued, alleging age discrimination. Carol’s employer said she was fired for years of poor behavior, including insubordination be­­fore and after being warned to improve.

The court dismissed the case, con­­cluding the employer was free to use old and new incidents to support the decision. (Rubinow v. BIP, No. 11-2879, 2nd Cir., 2012)

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