Today’s Reminder that Documenting Poor Behavior is Critically Important

A Burger King franchise was sold. The new owner hired most of the old company’s employees. One employee not hired was a union organizer who was involved in the Fight for $15 campaign. It is illegal to not hire a known union organizer because of that employee’s union organizing activity.

At trial, the employer’s manager, the new company did not hire the organizer because he was insubordinate, refused to work certain shifts, stole food, and often reported to work late. The judge did not believe the manager’s testimony because  she failed to document the tardies, failed to document the refusal to work certain shifts, and failed to report any of the alleged bad behavior to human resources.

The manager allegedly did document the poor performance “for awhile,” but stopped because she “never received a response.” To all managers out there – document to cover you own a&# even if HR doesn’t do anything about it. To all HR personnel out there – respond to managers’ reports of poor performance. Here, both sides are guilty of dropping the ball while the unsuspecting business owner is left footing the bill.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 285-5342 or emailing him at