GOOD NEWS. YOU CAN FIRE LIARS
For quite some time now, courts and regulatory agencies have been on the hunt forcompanies, looking bring them down much as a pack of wolves brings down a stag.
Fortunately, with the change in management at the top, we are starting to see someattitude adjustments filtering through to the lower levels.
Michelle Bailey worked in the HR department at Oakwood. While she was out on maternityleave for three months, some of her colleagues took over her duties. During this time, theydiscovered several problems with how she’d been doing her job.
This discovery caused Bailey’s supervisor to take a closer look at the qualifications on herresume. Instead, the supervisor found Bailey had two resumes on file.
The first resume was from two years prior, when Bailey applied to a different position at thecompany. The more recent resume had been submitted for her current position. But acomparison of the two found some major inconsistencies. Bailey had exaggerated herexperience and qualifications on the second resume to appear better suited for the job shecurrently had.
Between this discovery and the realization that Bailey hadn’t been performing her job well,Oakwood terminated her when she returned from maternity leave.
Bailey filed a lawsuit, claiming pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. She argued that“falsifications” was too strong a word, saying she simply “embellished” her resume. Baileywent on to say Oakwood didn’t follow its normal disciplinary procedures or give her achance to correct her performance problems before firing her.
While the court said the “timing of Bailey’s termination was unfortunate,” and the “manner inwhich the decision was communicated was clumsy,” it still sided with the company, saying
Oakwood acted reasonably.
This is a bit of good news, that when you can demonstrate reasonable justification fortermination, FMLA doesn’t really get in the way. Of course, it would be preferable if thetiming wouldn’t automatically land companies in hot water, but at least you can throw outliars when you catch them.
Provided, of course, you can prove that they are liars.