EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Legitimate Business Purpose/Business Necessity

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505.11000 – Legitimate Business Purpose/Business Necessity

An illegal purpose harbored by a discriminating employer may be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the adverse action. These may include anti-union animus exhibited by the employer or its agents; the pretextual nature of the ostensible justification; or other failure to establish a business justification. In such cases, the Board is free to draw inferences from all the circumstances, and need not accept an employer’s self-serving declarations of intent, even if they are uncontradicted. The City’s interest in ensuring its firefighters are properly trained, regardless of the skill level and competence of the firefighters, is a legitimate one. 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.