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Don’t Be This Employer!
A Costly Lesson on Why You Shouldn’t Discriminate
A Minnesota employer will be paying a former employee nearly $100,000 for terminating her because she was pregnant and needed to take leave. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way. Be prepared for when your employee tells you she’s pregnant – learn the mistakes this employer made and how the situation should be handled.
You hired Roberta in September. She seemed fine during the interview. . . just a little nervous. She was the best candidate interviewed, so you extended her an offer of employment.
After she was hired, you discovered that Roberta is a slow learner (and you suspect she might have a learning disability). She also has a difficult time receiving criticism.
Now, four months into her employment, Roberta has been having what appear to be panic attacks. You have moved her to several different positions. Unfortunately, her panic attacks have continued and hinder her ability to interact with the public, which is an essential function of her job.
You really don’t think Roberta is going to improve. You would like to terminate her. After all, she’s an at-will employee. She’s never informed you that she has any disability and never asked for an accommodation.
Do you think you’re good to move forward with termination?
- Absolutely, though you feel sorry for Roberta, you need people who can work, and you don’t have time to babysit her. You’ve already tried training her and she’s just not getting it.
- Maybe, since Roberta has not told you she has a disability or needs an accommodation, you do not have to worry about potential disability discrimination.
- Yes, if Roberta had some type of physical condition or disability, you understand you’d have to accommodate her, but you cannot accommodate a mental problem.
- No, or at least not yet. You need to learn more about Roberta’s condition before making any decisions.
Year-End Webinar Recording Now Available!
We hosted a valuable webinar on Preparing for Year-End and the Year Ahead: What You Need to Know.
A new year always brings new legislation and unique challenges for employers, but we’re here to help you navigate the complexities and move forward with confidence.
John Myett led the discussion, bringing years of experience in the compliance world. (See his full bio here.) Alongside the year-end topics, he covered:
- Social Security threshold
- 401(k) limit changes
- Other changes to relevant legislation and policies