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An employer cannot “rubber stamp” the decision of a bigoted manager to terminate an employee, and then claim lack of discriminatory intent when the employee files suit claiming discrimination. In EEOC v. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co., decided June 7, 2006, the 10th Circuit recognized that an employer must hear both sides of the story and conduct an independent investigation of the grounds for termination before taking an adverse employment action. In this case, the terminated employee showed that the employer failed to conduct any investigation of the claimed grounds for termination – insubordination – and as a result, permitted a supervisor to force a termination when it wasn’t justified.

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