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Firing a worker for a "bad attitude" is not necessarily illegal, but strategically it is not a strong legal reason for a termination.  An example is a recent case in which a transgender employee claimed she was discharged for retaliation for her continued complaints to management about discrimination, that included being called the wrong name or pronoun.  The fact that she was terminated shortly after her complaints, called temporal proximity, did not necessarily prove the causation as being illegal, but combining that with the claim she was told she was being discharged because of her "bad attitude," caused a federal district court to deny a motion to dismiss the complaint.

One thing that made the use of the "bad attitude" reason for termination particularly suspicious, is that the plaintiff had been complaining of discrimination, and the court concluded that her "bad attitude" might relate to her discrimination complaints.  The court also discussed the length of time between her complaints and her termination, citing cases indicating that a lapse of two months and two weeks between the protected activity and the adverse action is sufficiently long so as to weaken significantly the inference of causation.   Milo v. Cybercore Techs., LLC, 2020 B.L. 1137, D. Md., 1/13/20.    

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