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The Most Shocking Terminations of 2018
HR Stories From The Front Lines*
Our HR Professionals provide support for thousands of terminations throughout the year, most of which involve typical “run-of-the-mill” offenses. Surprisingly, there are always a handful of cases where the employee’s conduct shocks us, and we’re left wondering how someone could actually act that way at work. Click here to read about the top five shockers from 2018..*Read more (Opens in a new window)
(*These incidents really happened; but names and other details have been changed.)
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Do you have an HR question keeping you up at night?
The following question was submitted to our HR Professionals in the past month ...Question #1
I recently received an anonymous complaint via our Employee Complaint Hotline where the employee complained that one of our Area Coaches was acting in a discriminatory manner towards women. Can you please provide me with guidance on how to best investigate this complaint?View the Answer (Opens in a new window)
Even Easy Terminations Lead to Claims
Henry has worked for your company for over a decade and, until recently, has been a good performer. However, over the past six months, Henry’s performance has started to slide.
You have talked to Henry about your observations with his performance on several occasions, but you did not document any of these conversations. During your conversations, Henry admitted that his performance has slipped and that he has been making several mistakes. Each time, Henry promises he will improve, but he hasn’t shown any improvement.
Last week, Henry asked for a few days off to attend a convention for his church. While he was out, you discovered he had failed to complete a project by the deadline, negatively impacting a customer.
Based on his decline in performance and the recently discovered error, you decide to terminate Henry.
Yesterday, you were shocked when you received a charge from the EEOC claiming discrimination based on religion. You didn’t fire Henry because of his religion. Henry was fired because he wasn’t doing his job.
You tried to explain that to the EEOC. Likely, the EEOC responded:
They completely understood. Once you explained the course of events, they could understand why Henry needed to be terminated and dismissed the charge.
They asked you and Henry’s supervisor a lot of questions. It seemed like they were looking for ways that you’d discriminated against him. Making implications that you didn’t feel were accurate. You didn’t feel it went well and you don’t know what will happen next.
They asked to see documentation of Henry’s performance problems. They wanted to see the evidence that you’d talked to him about his poor performance. They asked if Henry was disciplined for his poor performance, in writing. They asked a lot of questions about his absence and why you terminated Henry immediately following his return to work. In the end, the EEOC concluded you had discriminated against Henry and his termination was retaliation for taking time off to attend a church conference.
The end of the year is a busy time for all HR Professionals. Along with the critical year end tasks that must be completed, there are also other items that should be completed to help your organization move seamlessly into 2019. To help you prepare for the new year, we have prepared a checklist of some of the key tasks you should complete before the start of 2019 …