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Reblogged:Lucas on Firing 'Protected' Workers

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Starting with an amusing story about a sixty-year-old slacker who discovered the hard way that she was not untouchable, Suzanne Lucas provides a handy guide for "How to Fire Anyone Without Legal Repercussions."

We've all heard of cases in which incompetent or lazy employees were kept on for far too long because management believed doing so would land them in legal trouble. Lucas clarifies what protected class actually means for those purposes and how to work within the law to remove deadwood:
Image by ernestoeslava, via Pixabay, license.
This term means that you can't terminate or punish someone because of their gender, race, gender identity, pregnancy status, disability status, or other protected characteristics...


You can't terminate someone because they are White any more than you can terminate someone because they are Black. And even when people say, "But I'm in an at-will state!" that doesn't make much difference. First, every state but Montana is at-will.

Second, at-will means you can terminate for any reason or no reason as long as that reason isn't illegal.

Read that again. As long as that reason isn't illegal.
It is good to know that, although the government is violating the freedom to contract through employment laws, the law is predictable and nowhere near as restrictive as one might believe.

Lucas's advice boils down to the following steps:
  1. Don't be a racist/sexist/whateverist
  2. Document everything
  3. Use performance improvement plans and progressive discipline
  4. Be consistent
  5. Conduct neutral investigations
It would seem that on balance, such laws make it harder, but not impossible to fire bad employees. While this is still not a point in their favor, it is good to know that they are less onerous than commonly believed.

-- CAV

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