is the supervisor of 12 employees most of whom generally perform adequate work in conformance with company job descriptions and standards. However, he has had problems in completing the performance appraisals of two employees.
The first employee is Gordie, a young man who went through a divorce during the past year. He was awarded custody of his children and has had a difficult time throughout this past year balancing his increased familial responsibilities with his job requirements. He has missed several important meetings as a result. Gordie has received two written warnings about his inadequate performance, and a poor year-end performance appraisal would mean an automatic dismissal. However, Mark-Jonathan is confident that Gordie will be able to successfully manage these two priorities in the coming year, if only given the chance. Does Mark-Jonathan draft an honest appraisal of his past performance with the knowledge that it would mean Gordie would lose his job according to company policy, or does he decide to use his discretion and offer a less-than-truthful assessment, knowing that it is in the company's best interest to retain this employee?
Mark-Jonathan's dilemma is accentuated by the fact that he is to review Julio, an Argentinean worker who holds a position similar to Gordie's. Julio is consistently late for work and also has received two written warnings about his inadequate performance. Mark-Jonathan has no idea why Julio arrives late, and, when asked, Julio offers no sufficient justification. If Mark-Jonathan writes a performance evaluation that highlights this poor behavior, similar to Gordie's, and terminates Julio but not Gordie (a white male), he is concerned about the potential for discrimination implications.
D. D. Bennett-Alexander and L. P. Hartman, Employment Law for Business (7th ed.), McGraw-Hill, 2007.
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