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Track discipline to counter claims of discrimination

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Make sure everyone on your HR staff knows about every disciplinary action. Track who is disciplined and for what reasons. Use that data to do a self-audit. You’re looking to see whether members of a protected class are being punished more severely than others.

If there are no differences, any frivolous claims will be dismissed.

Recent case: When two black employees sued, claiming they had been unfairly punished because of their race, their employer was ready with facts to counter their charges.

When the employees alleged that blacks were disciplined more frequently than whites, they relied on a very small sample of employees. Their employer showed that their figures were wrong. It also countered that the two had been fired for absenteeism and poor performance (such as sleeping on the job). The court tossed out the case. (Smith, Piquet v. New Venture Gear, No. 07-4821, 2nd Cir., 2009)

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