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Beware giving contradictory reasons for discharge

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in Firing,Human Resources

Want to terminate an employee? Make sure that if you state a reason, you do so consistently.

Recent case: Brian, who suffered from eczema, was about to begin a three-times a week program of therapy when his employer discharged him.

Brian sued, alleging he had been fired because he requested FMLA leave for medical reasons. The employer countered that it had fired him for breaking company rules several times, including arriving late for work.

But Brian said that when the company fired him, the supervisor said the company wasn’t going to provide a reason. When Brian applied for unemployment, the company told the unemployment compensation board that it terminated Brian for lack of work. The court said the contradictory reasons were grounds for taking the case to a jury. (Soles v. Zartman Construction, No. 4:14-CV-01791, MD PA, 2016)

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