Can a predetermined outcome be used as pretext?

Would employer requesting an employee(this employee has an active complaint he filed 2 weeks prior) to clean out his/her desk and locker for a suspension pending an outcome of an investigation look like they are predetermined the outcome? Can this be used to saw pretext as they had no intention on bringing the employee back? This suspension was for allegedly swearing at another employee. This employee never had prior issues for such.

1 answer  |  asked Apr 28, 2020 12:05 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

V Jonas Urba
Are you asking whether an employee who complains can not be disciplined?

A non-discriminatory reason to terminate an employee is a good reason as is no reason at all in most cases.

Let's use an example of an employee who takes FMLA leave and they are asked to clean out their desk before leaving. The employer already knows that this employee is not a good fit; maybe they are always late. This employee takes their FMLA and the day they return to work they are fired. The employee alleges it to be FMLA interference but the employer has time records and maybe verbal warnings of tardiness. Was the termination unlawful? Under these facts probably not, but many employees think medical leave protects them from termination as do some employees who file complaints only to find out they were wrong.

posted by V Jonas Urba  |  Apr 28, 2020 12:21 PM [EST]

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