Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. Unless the employer has an internal "due process" system that specifically allows for an attorney to petition, there is very little an employment law
attorney can do in these situations. Unfortunately, we really only have the ability to assist when these matters are resolved, one way or the other, and then we have to pick through the rumble to figure out whether something was done illegally. Employers don't usually have a forum for us to speak before. External employment law doesn't dictate what a development plan has to look like, when it can be established or whether or not it is appropriate. That is an entirely internal process for employers. After the fact, if the employer has a very strict written policy about how they are supposed to be used, an employment law attorney can come in and sue for breach of that implied contract (a written policy can become an implied contract), but that is only effective and financially sound after a termination
. Without a strictly written policy about how those processes are to be done, the employer has free reign. There is nothing inherently illegal with making someone a scapegoat. What matters is the motivation behind it. If the actual motivation is discrimination
due to race, religion, gender, age or disability, that is illegal. However, trying to protect the organization from a loose cannon, that's not illegal. It's immature and unprofessional, but not illegal by itself. So, regrettably, until this matter is internally resolved, there is nothing that can be done. Even after it is resolved, unless the employer's written policies are strict enough to establish a quasi contractual obligation as to how the development plans are to be use, there won't be anything that can be done either UNLESS discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age or disability can be alleged. Finally, as to the false statements, you can potentially sue the individual for defamation of character, but that is a personal injury claim and not an employment law matter. If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.