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Sometimes, employees who are having performance problems think that filing discrimination complaints will help protect their jobs.

Word has gotten around that employees can win retaliation cases even if the discrimination claims they make are flimsy. That is, if the employer takes an adverse action (e.g., demotion, transfer, discharge) after the complaint. What better way to protect one’s job, they reason, than to file the complaint and wait for the response?

But employers won’t lose a retaliation case if they can show that the employee really did deserve the discipline that followed the discrimination complaint.

It has to be done correctly, though. Jumping the gun and disciplining the employee for his first mistake can backfire badly—especially if you’ve ignored similar mistakes or problems until now with that employee or others. Your quick-draw discipline will look like retaliation for engaging in a protected ac...(register to read more)

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