TERMINATIONS

2015 layoffs could be lowest since 2003

12/17/2014
Planned layoffs are at a record low heading into 2015, according to a survey released Dec. 3 by the nonprofit total rewards association WorldatWork.

Is California WARN different than the federal law?

12/08/2014
Q. As a California employer, am I required to follow the same 90-day aggregation rule that the federal WARN Act follows?

How does California's plant closing law work?

12/08/2014
Q. Our company is going to have lay off a large number of employees. Are we required to give notice to the employees?

Unemployment: Track complaints that led to quitting

12/08/2014

You need clear lines of communication so employees can complain about workplace problems. That can protect you if an employee quits because of alleged harassment and then applies for unemployment benefits. He won’t be eligible if he never gives you a chance to fix the problem. Not using the company complaint process pretty much means the em­­ployee didn’t give his employer a chance, blocking benefits.

Don't wait for prosecution: Fire violent worker

12/08/2014
Has an employee been arrested for threatening behavior involving a co-worker? You don’t have to wait for the criminal trial and conviction to discipline the employee. You don’t even have to reconsider if the police drop the charges. What matters is that you have an honest belief that the em­­ployee broke company conduct rules—even if you end up being wrong.

Quitting in anticipation of being fired bars benefits

12/08/2014
An employee who quits because he thinks he may be fired isn’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If there was still work available, quitting would have been unreasonable.

When disciplining, focus on words and actions

12/02/2014
Judges don’t expect you to put up with potentially dangerous employees. But if an employee believes he’s really being punished for something other than behavior, be careful. Focus on the employees’ actual behavior, not subjective “feelings” you got when observing him.

Getting the most out of exit interviews

11/24/2014
A team member’s departure offers a valuable opportunity to see how well the team is working and what might be done to improve conditions for future employees. Here are some guidelines to follow to get the most out of this conversation.

Sloppy firing leads to suit? Offer reinstatement

11/10/2014

Here’s a tactic to limit the damage in a case of a firing gone wrong: Unconditionally offer to reinstate the employee. If she declines, you may not have to pay future lost wages after the offer date. The key is making sure there are absolutely no strings attached to the invitation to return to work.

No need to satisfy every gender-bias demand

11/05/2014
Of course you should strive to keep your workplace free of discrimination, but you don’t have to satisfy unreasonable equity requests.

Firing whistle-blower? Prepare for court

10/31/2014

Generally, Pennsylvania employees who aren’t union members or don’t have a written employment agreement are at-will employees who can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. There’s one major exception: Employers can’t fire at-will employees because of their protected characteristics. But there is a second exception gaining prominence in court cases.

Seizure disorder raises safety issue: Can we fire?

10/23/2014
Q. A new employee just told us she has a seizure disorder. Our facility works with vulnerable adults and the new employee would be required to drive them. This poses a risk potential for the client’s safety. Can we terminate this person or do we need to figure out an accommodation? The employee hasn’t asked for any yet.

What should we do? Employee is missing work because of what we suspect is domestic abuse

10/14/2014
Q. We have a female employee who is having personal problems and keeps missing work. She sometimes comes to work with visible bruises, and we suspect her spouse is abusive. While we’re sympathetic, we also have important work that isn’t getting done and the employee’s last-minute absences are a problem. We’ve told her how important attendance is, but the problem isn’t going away. Can we fire her?

Note time, circumstances of firing decision

10/14/2014

Employees may begin suspecting that their job is in danger before management has a chance to implement a discharge decision. That’s when you can expect them to complain about harassment or discrimination. Or, in Minnesota, they may request a copy of their personnel file to see what’s in it and prepare for a potential lawsuit. Beat that strategy by carefully documenting the discharge process.

Discipline when dashed romance affects work

10/14/2014
Bad relationships can affect employees in surprising ways. When a romance ends, anger and frustration at home can wind up infecting the workplace. You can discipline employees if blow-back from love gone wrong harms your business.
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