EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Misconduct
Single Topic for Decision 2211M
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505.03000 – Misconduct
Once a prima facie case is established, employer bears the burden of proving it would have taken the adverse action even if the employee had not engaged in protected activity. The issue before the Board is not whether the employer had just cause to discipline or terminate the employee, but rather whether the true motivation behind the employer’s decision was the employee’s exercise of protected activity. Thus, the Board does not determine whether the employer was correct in its determination that employee violated safety procedures, or whether good cause existed to terminate his employment. Weighing the evidence that probationary employee’s supervisors were dissatisfied with his performance throughout his employment against any possible inference of retaliatory motive, Board does not find that employee’s protected activity was the true motivation for the recommendation to terminate his probationary employment.