Every year, hard-working Washington and Oregon business owners are involved in employment discrimination lawsuits and are not prepared to defend themselves in court, even though they may very well have been in the right all along. There is a wide range of types of discrimination lawsuits out there, including race, age, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, but all of these cases are fundamentally the same and require fundamentally the same defense.
The “For Good Cause” Defense
Most people understand that it is unlawful to terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons and that there are no legal grounds for doing so under any circumstances. On the other hand, it’s perfectly legal for business owners to terminate any employee “for good cause.” In order to defend your lawsuit, you’ll want to consult with a discrimination attorney to determine the feasibility of a “for good cause” defense.
Examples of “Good Cause” when Defending a Discrimination Lawsuit
There are several examples of good causes an employer can cite when terminating an employee. The easiest to defend by far is the breach of an employment contract, where the employee has not met all of the agreed-upon expectations of their employment or has broken one of the employer’s rules or regulations. Another good cause of employment discrimination defense is if the company experienced necessary budget cuts and it was too expensive to keep the employee on the payroll. Another obvious example would be if the employee failed to perform their job duties or failed to deliver quality results in their duties, these are both good causes for termination, regardless of race, age, religion, or other commonly-discriminated characteristics.
How to Prove the “Good Cause” Employment Discrimination Defense
If you plan on preventing Seattle discrimination lawsuits filed against you, then you, as an employer, need to be keeping very consistent and detailed records. These records should include formal and informal reviews of all employees, a behavioral warning to the employee with a copy saved in their record, and work quality feedback, again with a copy saved in the employee’s folder.
Additionally, you should provide training for your employees and clearly written contracts that outline their expected duties, comprehensively and specifically. If you’ve been sued, bringing these records to court can reveal a timeline of events that led to the dismissal of the employee. Presenting this evidence of bad behavior, a lack of expected performance or a shortage of available funds can justify your claim and win your case.
When you contact our NW business law firm, you can consult with a discrimination defense lawyer to find out if you have “good cause.” Call Northwest Business Law Group to get started.