Claiming racial discrimination reality bad perfomance

I work for a large co, supervising 18. A recent hire interviewed well, resume indicates experience but 3 months later she has not caught on to much of anything. We closely monitor performance via computer tracking, reports, reviews, Q/A etc. All areas indicate their performance is below average.

The employee's professionalism, behaviors are below par requiring extra supervision. She has been coached, monitored, counseled without success & is now on a 2nd written warning for performance.

Heard though the grapevine today that this employee is trying to have me fired for racial discrimination. I could care less about anything other than results & numbers. Still the stigma could haunt me regardless of truth.

If this employee goes forward with their racial discrimination claim can I personally sue them to retain my reputation? What if I'm fired without an investigation? What can I do to protect myself? Do I need to retain my own counsel now?

btw my immediate mgmt agrees with my findings & this employee was on the fast track out for performance issues. Without significant improvement this employee was to be fired before the end of their probationary period, within 2 weeks. I feel bullied & harassed for doing my job.

1 answer  |  asked Aug 3, 2007 10:16 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
Supervisors accused of discrimination have some limited rights.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, supervisors accused of discrimination have some limited rights. If you are being falsely accused, you may have a claim for defamation against the employee. Such claims are very difficult to prove, however, as they are generally very 'he said, she said' material. However, if the employee is knowingly fabricating her claims, you may have a viable claim.

If your employer fires you without an investigation, you may have a discrimination claim of your own, in that you were treated differently than your accuser in that her accusations are given credibility while your denials are not, OR by not being given a chance to respond to the allegations while she gets the opportunity to use the employer's complaint process.

All in all, supervisors have little recourse; the best course is to methodically document the issues, follow the company's policy with regard to supervision, discipline and treatment of others, and treat everyone with respect, even if they are not good employees.

At this time, you likely do not need an attorney. If you suspect that you will be railroaded by your employer, or if they indicate they will not do an investigation but discipline you anyway, then you should contact an attorney.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Aug 3, 2007 10:43 AM [EST]

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