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"Reality TV" at Work
HR Stories From The Front Lines*
What do you do when your manager's intoxicated girlfriend confronts him at work about his affair with another woman? The catch ... both women are current employees, subordinates of the manager, and one is pregnant.*Read on
(*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 ...
I am the HR manager of a family-owned business with several different entities – each of which is a separate corporation owned by the family. In recent months, I have noticed a trend of former employees applying for positions at one of the other locations and some of these former employees are not subject to rehire at their previous location. To avoid this problem, can I provide a report of former employees who are not eligible for rehire to the managers of our other locations?
Is it legal for a company to hire a new employee and put them on a 3-month probation period to see if the worker and the job are a good fit and if not a good fit is that grounds for termination?
View the Answer
You had an employee who started work for you in 2017. She was a good employee until last spring and that was reflected on her reviews. She started slipping in her performance in April. She missed deadlines, became sloppy with her work, and overall was not performing as she had in the past. You talked to her, but there wasn’t any documentation. She knew what she was doing wrong; she was just being careless. She told you she’d improve, but she didn’t. Recently, she asked for a few days off to attend a convention for her church. You let her go, but it didn’t help matters; her performance continued to slide. While she was out, you found a significant error she’d made which impacted a customer. You’d finally had it and terminated her. From your perspective, it shouldn’t have been a surprise; you had been talking to her about the problems for a while. You were shocked when you received a charge from the EEOC claiming discrimination based on religion. You didn’t fire her because of her religion; she wasn’t doing her job! You tried to explain to the EEOC. How did they respond?
Choose the best answer.
They completely understood. Once you explained the course of events, they could understand why she needed to be terminated and dismissed the charge.
They asked you and her supervisor a lot of questions. It seemed they were looking for ways you’d discriminated against her, making implications you didn’t feel were accurate. It was very frustrating. You didn’t feel it went well, and you don’t know what will happen next.
They asked to see documentation of her performance problems. They wanted to see evidence you’d talked to her. They asked if she was disciplined for her behavior – in writing. They asked a lot of questions about her absence, and why you terminated directly after it. In the end, they concluded you had discriminated against her, and her termination was retaliation for taking the time off to attend her church conference.
You hired a lawyer and spent tens of thousands of dollars to defend yourself. It got ugly and you didn’t win.
This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.