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Documented facts, not mere allegations, are what it takes to win cases

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

Employers that take the time to document poor performance with solid, objective facts rarely lose discrimination cases.

That’s because being able to explain exactly why you had to terminate a worker for poor performance tends to show that discrimination probably wasn’t a factor.

Recent case: Martin was born in the Dominican Republic and did not speak English when he moved to the United States.

He took numerous classes and eventually learned enough English to land a job as a probationary police officer in Palmer Township. His Spanish and English bilingual skills were viewed as an asset even though, as he admitted, his command of English grammar needed improvement. His basic English skills affected his report writing.

During his probation year, his supervisors identified other work problems.

For example, they received numerous complaints that Martin drove too fast through residential neighborhoods, ran stop signs and otherwise posed a potential hazard to the public. He was also written up for poor report writing.

Martin was discharged and sued, alleging racial and national origin discrimination.

But the court took a close look at the facts. It noted that that Palmer Township had documented objective, business-related evidence that Martin was not performing up to the level required of a police officer.

The lawsuit was dismissed. (Ramirez v. Palmer Township, ED PA, 2018)

Final note: The township’s case was aided by the fact that Martin offered no evidence of discrimination.

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