The other day I was asked, “If Nebraska is an employment at will state, why do my HR people and lawyers insist that I document everything?”
Because while it is true that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, those reasons need to be non-discriminatory. In the right circumstances, every employee potentially could be part of a protected class – meaning a class of people protected from discrimination. White males under 40 are a protected class when the claim is that the employer inappropriately developed an affirmative action program that discriminated against white males. Documentation is the key to demonstrating that an employee was fired or otherwise disciplined because of poor performance, not discrimination. So write things down when you have an employee performing poorly. Please.