A deaf employee was fired because of offensive behavior. The employee sued claiming the termination was retaliation for his complaints about the quality of his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation. Pearlman v. Pritzker (4th Cir. 2014). The employer was able to successfully defend itself (At summary judgment!! Meaning it avoided the expense of a trial!!) because it had a long paper trail documenting the true reason for the termination.
Terminating an employee is almost never easy – and can be especially stressful when the employee falls into a protected characteristic (age, sex, disability, religion, national origin etc.). But strong personnel files not only win cases, they can sometimes prevent the lawsuit from ever being filed.
Many managers want to do the right thing but struggle to properly document discipline and performance concerns. We can help – we offer a training designed to help managers communicate effectively with their staff. As the Pearlman case demonstrates, a little upfront investment can pay off huge dividends when an unhappy employee sues.