You are assessing the performance of a regional personnel manager, Julia. There has recently been a forced-redundancy program at her location and, as a consequence, there have been three complaints about her handling of the redundancy process. In two cases, legal action has been threatened. A summary of the complaints and her response to each of them follows:
a. Complaint from John: She told me that they had to let me go because I was the eldest in my section. I think this is age discrimination. I’m going to sue.
Response from Julia: I told John that, as there were forced redundancies and that he was closest to retirement, that he would be least financially affected of his workgroup. Further, after taking account of tax breaks and superannuation law, the actual monetary impact for him would be very minor, whereas his colleagues are all substantially younger and would be more affected. His work performance was no better or worse than that of his colleagues. For these reasons he was selected for forced redundancy.
b. Complaint from Sue: I was told that since there were forced redundancies and that I was just a majority race person in the workforce, I would be let go. This is ‘reverse’ discrimination. I’m going to sue.
Response from Julia: Sue’s complaint is essentially true; her performance was not outstanding, and I’ve got diversity targets to reach, so I’m using the forced redundancies to improve our workplace diversity index.
c. Complaint from Trang: I’m being fired because I’m Vietnamese. My performance assessments in the last two years are only bad because I’m Vietnamese – my English is not so good, but I deal very well with the Vietnamese-speaking customers, which almost nobody else can.
Response from Julia: Trang’s performance has been sub-standard since his engagement three years ago, and his last two year’s performance assessment records confirm this. This was the sole basis for selecting him for redundancy. This was clearly explained to Trang, but he does not accept it.
In your understanding (and accepting all statements as true until further investigation), has the regional personnel manager acted properly in handling the redundancies, bearing in mind national and state local Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Equal Opportunity legislation?
Is there any counseling which should be given to Julia to improve her future performance?