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Beware discipline right after employee files lawsuit

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

If an employee sues her employer and suddenly faces increased scrutiny, she may argue that she’s being retaliated against. She would have an even stronger case if the employer was singling her out for extra scrutiny.

But disciplining someone for a mistake found during an across-the-board review isn’t retaliation.

Recent case: Kimberly sued her em­­­ployer for disability discrimination. She was later terminated for failure to follow appropriate inventory and documentation procedures.

She sued, alleging retaliation for her original lawsuit. Kimberly claimed her supervisor had gone looking for dischargeable offenses to get rid of her.

But the employer showed that it discovered the transgressions that led to discharge during a routine audit of all employee inventory practices, not just Kimberly’s. The court said there was no retaliation. (Wells v. Retinovitreous Associates, 3rd Cir., 2017)

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