Some employers fear that if they discipline the poor performance of an employee or even terminate that employee, they could be subjected to a discrimination lawsuit. To combat this, some Florida employers will protect themselves from discrimination lawsuits by keeping a detailed record of performance reviews, which may show a history of poor performance. This is one way by which employers can defend themselves against a discrimination lawsuit.
In one case, for example, a specialist in international banking allegedly had a history of performance problems. However, she also alleged that the bad performance reviews stemmed from her being discriminated against based on her nation of origin. She was a native of Cambodia.
The woman had been employed at U.S. Bank since 1983. From 2000 to 2007 she was given a rating of “solid performance,” but supervisors also stated she made numerous errors and had performance problems. In 2008, her review of performance was worse. In her discrimination complaint, she alleged that a fellow employee referred to her as “slanty eyes.” Another employee allegedly stated that she could not write and should return to Cambodia.
The court decided in favor of the employer, but the woman appealed the matter all the way up to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit. The Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of the employer. In citing its decision the court stated that the woman’s story was inconsistent with its recollection the events.
Discrimination lawsuits are exceedingly common in the state of Florida. However, employers can protect themselves from discrimination complaints by keeping a detailed record of performance reviews. They can also seek professional legal assistance to formulate the best possible defense against such claims.
Source: hr.blr.com, Retaliation: Was worker punished for race discrimination complaint?, No author, Sept. 13, 2013