TERMINATIONS

Never fire to avoid paying expensive benefits

06/19/2017
Here’s advice if you’re ever tempted to fire an at-will employee because she is about to start racking up expensive claims using your employer-provided benefits: Don’t do it!

Secret formula for firing can be challenged in court

06/13/2017
Public employees may have constitutionally protected property interests in their jobs and the right to due process before losing their jobs. A federal court has now ruled that using a secret algorithm to determine whether a public employee will lose her job may violate that right to due process.

OK to fire if employee is indefinitely unable to work for medical reasons

06/13/2017
An employee who had a long history of filing internal discrimination claims has lost a retaliation lawsuit. She alleged her employer retaliated against her when it terminated her after she missed work for medical reasons, an absence her doctor believed might last indefinitely.

Feel free to 'fire' volunteers, just make sure you don't defame them

06/13/2017
When a volunteer for a nonprofit organization is “fired” from his voluntary position and the organization subsequently reports the circumstances to his actual employer, resulting in his termination, can the volunteer sue the nonprofit for tortious interference with his employment contract?

'Resign or be fired': Humane offer or a risky ultimatum?

06/12/2017
Presenting an employee the option to resign or get fired may fall under the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category. As a new ruling shows, such ultimatums might ultimately give you ulcers in court.

Termination for criminal wrongdoing? Don't bad-mouth the recently departed

06/07/2017
You’re surely on safe legal grounds to fire an employee for conduct that breaks the law, aren’t you? Of course you are. But that doesn’t mean you’re free to talk about the circumstances.

Fear of violence: Can we terminate employee who has mental illness?

06/06/2017
Q. We discovered that one of our employees has a history of unprovoked violent fits due to schizophrenia. We certainly sympathize with our employee’s struggle, but we also worry about the safety of customers and other employees. Does state law allow us to fire him for this reason?

Carefully document how you decided to terminate

06/06/2017
The decision to fire an employee doesn’t usually happen overnight. It’s typically a gradual process. Be sure you can show exactly when and how you made the termination decision.

Termination likely? Follow all the steps in your usual HR processes anyway

05/10/2017
Sometimes it’s obvious that you are going to have to fire an employee. First, however, you must follow your usual employment and HR procedures. Don’t just go through the motions, and don’t get sloppy!

Beware altering job description during RIF

05/03/2017
If you are engaged in a reduction in force and rewrite a job description so an older employee is eliminated because she lacks a requirement in the new description, she could sue you and easily win in court.

Your best protection against bias lawsuits: Let he who hired be the one who fires

04/24/2017
If the manager has moved on, all is not lost. You can still argue that the worker was hired knowing his status and that it makes no sense to then have fired him for that characteristic.

Do we have to comply? Former employee demands to know why he was terminated

04/19/2017
Q. We fired a worker for poor performance, but we didn’t tell him exactly why. Now he is demanding the discharge reason in writing. What do we do?

Employee's safety may be legitimate reason to end employment contract

04/12/2017
Sometimes, it becomes clear that safety concerns require an employer to move a worker and even terminate him if it isn’t possible to offer a different, safer position.

Use last-chance agreements to show you're fair about making termination decisions

03/29/2017
Sometimes, it makes sense to use a last-chance agreement in which an employee agrees that one more violation of a company rule will mean immediate termination.

Can we refuse to pay out accrued vacation if employee suddenly quits?

03/23/2017
Q. Our company policy is not to pay an employee for unused vacation time if the employee resigns without giving the required two weeks’ notice. A former employee has challenged this policy and is threatening to take the company to court. Is this policy lawful?
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