Sean Driscoll Quoted by SHRM in Article on the "Crossroads Conversation"
Portland, Ore. (February 14, 2020) - Portland Partner Sean Driscoll was recently quoted in an article from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in regards to a particular HR strategy for handling employees who fail to meet expectations known as the "crossroads conversation." The author of the article poses this strategy as a replacement for the typical "last change" agreement or final written warning that is usually used in such situations.
First, the author outlines through hypotheticals how a "crossroads conversation" would occur, giving the offending employee a choice between rectifying their behavior immediately, or parting ways with the business. Then the article shares the opinions of several attorneys, including Mr. Driscoll, on the legal side of this tactic.
"Although I generally agree with you that a simple summary is best for everyday performance issues," said Mr. Driscoll, "I'm concerned that your approach could prove problematic when employee behavior involves legally protected activities or statuses."
Mr. Driscoll also told SHRM he believes that "often the best legal protection is a 'final written warning' or similar formal warning that tells the offending employee that any future misconduct will result in termination. The warning sets clear expectations for the offending employee and shows the victim (and potential jury) that the company took steps designed to halt the offending conduct (a defense to liability in many cases)."
Mr. Driscoll is a member of Lewis Brisbois' Labor & Employment and Class Action & Mass Tort Practices. He regularly represents employers large and small in all aspects of employment litigation, both in federal and state courts and before the EEOC and state agencies, and in private and industry arbitrations.