Problem Supervisor

I have a supervisor that is becoming a real problem...

This is a supervisor that I have posted about in the past regarding performance problems. We have addressed the performance issues in a manner consistent with our policies and have provided him with opportunities for additional training, etc. to assist him. All of which he has turned down.

Approx. 3 months ago he filed an age discrimination complaint with the state. We responded to the complaint and, as far as we were concerned, continued business as usual. Last month he was suspended for 3 days because his insubordination (he didn't follow a direct order from his supervisor) resulted in additional OT as well as a critical job shipping late.

He filed for UI during his suspension and was initially awarded UI but the state changed their mind after receiving our information.

Now he has become very uncommunicative, unwilling to do anything outside of the bare minimum of what is expected and is constantly trying to find things the other supervisor erred on (he hasn't found anything but that hasn't stopped his trying). Basically he has stopped being a "team player".

We want to address this issue but I am a little shaky due to his complaint as well as how exactly to word the conversation.

Any ideas?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Linda, I have almost exactly the same situation. Our mgr was about to be let go when she filed w/civil rights. Now we've felt stuck with her until we can resolve that claim, for fear if we let her go she will add whistle blower to her list. I'll watch for responses, because I need some fresh thoughts too.
  • We've had a similar situation (i.e., pending discrimination charge) w/ an EE who was a serious performance problem... tho this was not a supervisor. We did let the individual go; and in this case, doing so did not adversely affect the outcome of the pending discrimination claim.

    If this guy's performance is continuing to deteriorate, I would suggest you may want to let go of the idea that you're "stuck with him" until the ADEA complaint is resolved. Hopefully, his recent insubordination was carefully documented?
    It is NOT illegal to let someone go while a complaint is pending; but you have to be extremely carful about doing so, so as not to hand the individual a ready-made claim of reprisal. In particular:

    1) make sure that his ADEA claim has no real substance behind it. You'd need to be able to strongly defend yourself against that claim (which you would want to do anyway).

    2) make sure that his performance problems have been carefully and accurately documented.

    3) if terminating him is consistent with the way you've treated similar cases in the past, then I would say you're OK to do so.

    Keeping a non-performing (or mal-performing) EE on because a complaint is pending could easily create more problems for your organization than terminating terminating him outright and immediately would do. As long as you can solidly demonstrate that you terminated him because of unsatisfactory performance and/or policy violations, and not in reprisal for his making a complaint against the organization.

    Best of luck!

  • Too bad you didn't let him go when he refused the additional training, and before he filed the ADEA claim. Well, the thing is, "attitude" IS behavior. What you need to do is sit down and list the all the overt, observable behaviors that communicate his poor "attitude" to you. You say that he does the "bare minimum." Can that be quantified? Once you make your list you have a meeting and let him know that he needs to change those behaviors within a given period of time or he could be facing the loss of his job. Of course, make sure everything is documented. Your goal is to make your company as bulletproof as possible, so you set reasonable benchmarks and give him a reasonable period of time to make the changes. If he doesn't change, you can exercise your option and let him go, if that what you decide.
  • I think the key is the past documentation. If you have a strong case and all the t's crossed and i's dotted we would release him. We look at it this way, we would rather fight him from outsied than from inside were he could gather more information for his case. Which it looks like that is what he is doing. Remember you need to relase him for cause with evidence so you do not have a whistleblowers case.

    Good luck
Sign In or Register to comment.