Harassment - Retaliation by Employer

Would this be considered retaliation for not supplying damaging information about another employee. President of company feels performance of an employee on my team is poor. Although he has expressed this on many occassions to several other team members in a more Senior position. He decided that he wanted me to supply him with the grounds to fire her by assigning her to work with me on one of our firm's largest clients. I expressed concern about this jeopardizing the relationship with the client.

He left my supervisor out of this (she is an VP - I am an AVP). He called me behind closed doors and wanted me to critique this employee which he already told me has been warned about performance and threatened with termination by him before.

Since I did not supply him with specific details about her lack ability to perform tasks, he wrote me up and threatened my termination. I have worked for this company for 4 years and received all glowing recommendations. Now he is putting me on notice and suggested that I should resign.

1 answer  |  asked Mar 20, 2002 10:02 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
It's probably not what you think

I don't like what this President is doing to this other employee. It is underhanded, and unnecessary. If this other employee is such a bad performer, this little dance this President is having people do is unnecessary. Just fire this other employee. Firing someone for poor performance is perfectly legitimate.

If this employee is not the bad performer the President makes her out to be, then the question is what is the real motivation for getting rid of her? This is important for you to know, because the answer might be of help to you.

If this other employee is really a performance problem, or if the President just does not like her, then what happened to you may be unfair, but it is not illegal. Technically, it is neither retaliation or harassment. In NY, an employer is not required to be fair or nice to employees.

If this President want this other employee out because she won't give in to his demands for sex, or because she's black, Muslim, Hispanic, up there in years, handicapped, etc, then you might have a retaliation claim, but only if your refusal to write her up is because you don't want to get involved in his discriminatory conduct. If you act or refuse to act in opposition to discrimination, then the law grants you protection from retaliation for your refusal to give in.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Mar 21, 2002 10:11 AM [EST]

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