EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Inefficiency or Incompetence

Single Topic for Decision 2494M

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505.06000 – Inefficiency or Incompetence

Employer established a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for placing fire chief on performance improvement plan where chief was significantly deficient in training hours; was not timely completing logs and reports on station maintenance, incidents, and apparatus checkouts; and was not timely performing quarterly fire prevention inspections. Performance improvement plan was not a pretext for retaliation, despite that it was issued four days after the Fire Department gave union president his performance evaluation for the same alleged areas of needed improvement, when the terms of the PIP indicate that it served a different, if complementary, purpose to the evaluation, specifically by enumerating various future steps to remedy the past deficiencies indicated by the evaluation. The City’s failure to follow the terms of the PIP is not proof that the PIP served no clarification purpose, because the City’s diligence or lack thereof in enforcing the PIP does not, by itself, shed any light on the City’s motivation for issuing the PIP in the first place.