TERMINATIONS

Parking employee fired for venting at grief session

09/01/2015
After a young, inexperienced driver for the Philadelphia Parking Authority accidentally ran over and killed a fellow employee, managers convened a grief counseling session. An already difficult gathering took a turn for the worse when the grief counselor asked for ideas on how to prevent such accidents ...

Insubordination is in the eye of the employer

09/01/2015
Think an employee is acting disrespectfully? Firing him for insubordination will probably stick.

Employee quitting for medical reasons? Consider offering accommodation

09/01/2015

Employees who quit their jobs for “necessitous and compelling” reasons may still be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Quitting because of medical problems sometimes qualifies. That’s why employers should consider offering accommodations if an employee says he needs to quit for medical reasons. An accommodation offer may mean there’s no “necessitous and compelling” reason to quit.

Believe employee lied? That's grounds for firing

08/20/2015
You have the right to expect honesty from your employees. You can fire if you reasonably believe an employee lied about an absence, knowing that you are on safe legal ground if the employee sues.

Progressive discipline can help win bias suits

08/13/2015

Discharged employees often sue, counting on their protected status—based on race, sex, national origin and so on—to create the impression that they were fired for discriminatory reasons. That’s why it’s important to use a progressive discipline system. It lets you counter discrimination allegations with solid, documented performance or behavior problems that warranted discharge.

5,000 terminations, 0 lawsuits: Her 7-step plan for success

08/06/2015
An interview with Charlotte Miller, a former state bar president, corporate general counsel and currently the senior VP of People and Great Work for O.C. Tanner, reveals her strategy for litigation-free terminations.

Easy hack: Former employees often keep network access

08/03/2015
It’s Item No. 1 on the termination checklist: Ensure former employees can’t get into the computer system. But only about half of IT administrators say they completely cut off network access the same day an employee is terminated.

School boards have wide latitude to terminate teachers for financial reasons

07/29/2015
A Texas appellate court has upheld the discharge of a teacher for financial reasons. The case shows school districts have great discretion to determine which employees to cut and don’t have to be bogged down in a detailed examination.

Lawsuit repellent: Promotion, praise, pay raise

07/24/2015
Employers that praise employees for a job well done and provide pay increases along with promotions rarely lose so-called constructive discharge lawsuits. That’s because an employee who has been praised and rewarded will have a tough time claiming her working conditions were so onerous that she had to quit.

In Dakota County firing, good HR results in bad PR

07/22/2015
Dakota County’s community development director was recently fired amid allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment. Once word got out that the county intended to terminate him, reporters clamored for details. County officials delayed, noting that the director would remain on the payroll for 60 days following their decision. The county then extended his contract for another week ...

Settlement deal required resignation? No unemployment benefits for former employee

07/22/2015

Workers whose employers make it unbearable to come to work are still eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s called constructive discharge. But what about an employee who files an EEOC complaint alleging unbearable working conditions and then settles the case for a lump-sum payment in exchange for resigning? According to a recent Minnesota decision, that’s a voluntary resignation, blocking benefits.

Stop bogus suits with good discipline records

07/22/2015

It happens regularly: An employee is facing escalating discipline and fears for her job—so she files a surprise sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit, hoping to stop her firing. But you can fire her—if you can provide complete disciplinary records to justify that the decision had nothing to do with her complaint.

Before firing, investigate discharge recommendation

07/22/2015
If you rely on a boss to make a firing recommendation and don’t independently investigate, you risk terminating someone because of the supervisor’s hidden bias. That can mean a large jury award. At least give the employee a chance to tell his side of the story.

Should we terminate an admitted drug user?

07/09/2015
Q. Following a recent accident on our loading dock, an employee admitted he used marijuana before his shift. Afterward, the employee and the ­others involved were required to submit to a for-cause drug test pursuant to our drug testing policy. The employee who admitted being high failed the drug test. However, there was an irregularity with our testing vendor, and it was not able to complete the confirmatory re-test of the employee’s specimen. Can we terminate the employee who admitted to working under the influence of marijuana?

Failure to call off is employment misconduct

07/09/2015
Employees who don’t call off work as company rules require may be guilty of misconduct. That means they lose the right to unemployment compensation if they are fired.
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