Employees should be treated equally when it comes to job performance.

There is no basis for treating employees in protected categories (whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.) differently when deciding if they should be fired for failure to perform their jobs satisfactorily.

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There is no basis for treating employees in protected categories (whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.) differently when deciding if they should be fired for failure to perform their jobs satisfactorily.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest HR professional society.

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question? Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer? Submit it here.

Question: I’m a manager at a local bank, and one of my reports has really been slacking. I’ve given him numerous warnings, but nothing has changed. He isn’t adding any value to our team, and I want to let him go. However, it’s tricky because he’s a racial minority, so I don’t want the firing to appear discriminatory in any way. It is strictly performance-related, but I’m nervous about the potential repercussions. How do I handle this one? – Anonymous

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