How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Andrea, Esq. Your Own Question
Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Andrea, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello. I have a part time employee that has worked for me as

This answer was rated:

Hello. I have a part time employee that has worked for me as an office assistant for about 6 months. When interviewed she stated that she previously worked as an office assistant but was laid off during a cutback. It turns out that she can't count, can't file properly, can't alphabetize, can't use an adding machine. She doesn't appear to know much of anything and shows no interest in doing more that absolutely necessary. Turns out that the position is way over her head. I was getting ready to fire her and just found out that she is pregnant. She already has one fatherless child. I know that I should have fired her earlier but it's been a busy time for my retail business and I didn't know how lacking her skills were until recently. If I fire her now what are the ramifications?

Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Pennsylvania Licensed, Practicing Attorney,



I am sorry to hear that the employee is so incompetent and you should not have to continue to employ her without any skills. If you can show that you have been keeping notes on the mistakes she has been making, or even to go back and make notes of the mistakes she has made on the different dates in the past, you should be able to terminate her for cause without any liability. The key is being able to show documentation in her personnel file, or in any separate rating sheet that you keep for each employee, that she just did not make the grade and have notes each time documenting that you are giving her x number of weeks to either shape up and perform her responsibilities correctly, or you will terminate her. If you can think of specific mistakes she made or specific deadlines she did not meet and document them in her file, you could terminate her.


If you had spoken to her about her poor performance that would be good also, however, even if you have not spoken to her, if you can show that you documented these things, you will be pretty safe in terminating her. She will, no doubt, accuse you of using her pregnancy as an excuse to fire her, but if you have your own documentation and samples of her mistakes in her personnel files, you will be able to successfully refute her accusations,




Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,


Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,




Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does the fact that she is related by marriage to another employee and was misrepresented to me by that employee have any bearing on the issue? Also since she needs a certain amount of hours to qualify for state aided child care would it be better for me to cut her hours back instead of directly firing her? I know that sounds like I'm being vindictive but that really is not the case. I would really just like to cut my losses and fire her but don't want a lawsuit or feel that I should have to pay for her unemployment.

Hi, Dominique,


The fact that another employee said she was well qualified really has no bearing on the issue.


As for cutting her hours, the employee can accuse you of the same thing, saying that you cut her hours because she was expecting.


If she is inclined to accuse you of discriminating against her because she is expecting, she will grasp at any reason. But, not every claim made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") results in a lawsuit. In fact, many Complaints are held to be unfounded. So, if you can document her incompetence (and if you even have some examples) that you can show to the EEOC (If it turns out that she actually does file a formal Complaint), you are pretty much on safe ground,





Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,


Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,





Andrea, Esq. and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you