The female Africa-American employee was fired for “unspecified performance problems” after she asked for a schedule change

The female Africa-American employee was fired for “unspecified performance problems” after she asked for a schedule change, in order to attend sobriety support sessions, because she suffered from alcoholism. There are several areas of concern here. The firing because of “unspecified performance problems” lacks specific reasons for firing the employee. In order to dismiss an employee, we should have detailed and documented reasons of performance failures. Being vague or not documenting these performance issues may give the impression of disparate treatment, or being treated different because of her race, and the employee could have a case for a lawsuit.
the Americans with Disabilities Act is another area where the fired employee may have a case for a lawsuit. In most cases, courts will find that an alcoholic employee has a ‘disability”. If the employee has a documented history of alcoholism and the employer is not willing to accommodate her schedule so she may attend sobriety activities this may be viewed as violating her reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. To justify her firing, the employer then needs to demonstrate an undue hardship that would result by changing her schedule.
Because the employee is an African-American and female, there may also be issues that fall under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The employee could allege racial and or gender discrimination.
In short, when firing an employee, we should have valid documented and specific reasons for firing an employee in order to avoid potential lawsuits that may arise in the company