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I wonder sometimes if anyone on this board has ever been a manager.(Yes, I'm sure some have) Have you ever had to make the call and fire someone? Or even worse, a lot of people? It's amazing when doing reviews how every single person thinks their above average. (remember the survey of drivers, and the average person rated themselves as above
average?) And of course, everyone loves their friends. So someones friends got the axe, and the managers friends didn't. If you were the manager, how many people would be saying the exact same thing about your choice? If of course, you were even allowed to make one. Anything but seniority based firings could lead to a lawsuit.

Yes, I have been a manager and business owner. Lately, I'm the Chair of an academic department. In my role as a manager, I fired a young lady because after tracking her absenteeism for over a year, it was clear that she was calling off sick the day before or after a weekend or holiday. This was a violation of company policy, and the call-offs were well documented. She was reprimanded, with verbal and written warnings, yet the behavior returned. I gave her six months notice.

In my academic position, I did not agree to renew the contract of someone who did not meet expectations. This was a good friend of mine, who I knew fairly well for over 20 years. As went we over her final review, I made sure she understood where she missed the mark and she ultimately agreed with me. We both made the leaving as easy as possible, with me offering to serve as a reference and her continuing to keep it touch with us.

The comment about "anything but seniority based firings leading to a lawsuit" is not really true. But, all managers must make sure that there is a clear paper trail and there are definitive grounds for a termination or they certainly risk a lawsuit. In these days, especially in smaller units where everyone knows everyone, if a manager terminated someone because of personal dislikes (as compared to not doing the job) the managers job would be in jeapordy.

I hope this answered your questions.

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