When an employee leaves your company, it does not always go as pleasantly as you’d like. They may leave in a disgruntled manner, quitting over some perceived slight. They may get fired when they thought there was no reason for them to lose their job.
Regardless, you may find yourself concerned that they’re going to try to make a false claim about discrimination or harassment. This is a valid concern and it is something that happens. That’s not to take attention away from valid claims or to infer that none of the claims have merit, but some employees see it as the easiest way to get back at an employer.
After all, in the court of public opinion, the employer has more reason to lie than the employee. You may know that they’re fabricating the entire story, but that doesn’t mean others will not believe them. It can put you in a very difficult position.
What can you do?
One thing to remember is that claims like this must be substantiated. Say the employee claims that they were fired because of their ethnicity. Do they have any evidence of that? They likely don’t, and a court isn’t going to rule in their favor just because of how they feel about the firing.
Moreover, you may have direct evidence that there was another reason to terminate their job — whether you told the employee about that reason or not. For instance, maybe you received complaints about the quality of service they provided from your customers. Email messages, text messages, voicemails and other records can help you quickly prove that the whole thing was justified and was in no way related to discrimination.
Securing your position
As an employer, it’s wise to document as much of this process as you, especially if you think an employee is not going to take it well. This way, if they come forward with some baseless accusation, you’re already prepared to shed some light on the truth of the matter.
That said, if you are facing these types of accusations, it’s also crucial to know what legal options you have. A claim like this can do serious harm to your business if not handled correctly.