Suppose you have an employee you want to get rid of, for whatever reason. Would it be a good idea to put the message across by making the person move out of their nice cubicle and into a moldy storage room?

We sincerely hope you didn’t answer “Yes.” But apparently at least one manager, at a Missouri Department of Transportation office in St. Joseph, did.

In her lawsuit for age discrimination, a department employee said the manager targeted her for dismissal because of her age. During a quarterly evaluation, she said, he asked how old she was, although he already knew. Shortly thereafter she was told she wouldn’t be reappointed to her position in community relations, and later she was demoted.

Cold, stuffy, moldy
At that point, her lawsuit states, the manager ousted her from her office and ordered her to work in a storage room that was cold, stuffy and contaminated with mold.

Takeaway: Of course, if this manager actually did want to get rid of the employee because of her age, he was on the wrong track from the start.

But suppose he’d had a good reason related to performance or conduct? Would he then have been justified in sticking her in the closet as a way of making her go away? No, no, a thousand times no! If you’ve thoroughly documented employees’ inadequate performance or serious misbehavior, that’s all you need to dismiss them (in consultation with HR or higher management). You don’t have to resort to cruel or underhanded tricks.

Source: St. Joseph News-Press,

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