TERMINATIONS

You don't have to wait for prosecution: Go ahead and fire violent worker

01/22/2015
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 police drop the charges. What matters is that you have an honest belief the worker broke company conduct rules—even if you end up being wrong.

After firing, can you erase a worker's phone?

01/15/2015
Employees are increasingly using their personal smartphones for work purposes. But when employees depart, those phones may contain a wealth of confidential company data. What to do?

Firing right after EEOC complaint? That's an invitation to trouble

01/06/2015
If you happen to make the final termination decision immediately after an employee files an EEOC complaint, timing alone may be enough to send the case to trial.

No such thing as too many reasons to fire

01/05/2015

Sometimes, employers make mistakes and fire employees for a reason later deemed illegal. But if that same employer finds evidence after the fact that would have supported the termination decision on its own, that may serve as a get-out-of-jail card.

Insubordination is grounds for denying unemployment

12/24/2014
Employers can terminate employees for insubordination, and that can include walking out of meetings to discuss performance issues. In turn, being insubordinate can mean denial of unemployment compensation.

Being placed on performance improvement plan isn't grounds to claim 'constructive discharge'

12/24/2014
Courts don’t allow employees to use constructive discharge as an excuse to quit unless they can off substantial reasons why they felt they had no choice but to resign.

The requirements of California's WARN Act

12/24/2014
What are the penalties for violating California WARN Act’s notice requirements? And are there any valid exceptions to them?

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.

Dress Codes

12/01/2014

HR Law 101: Workplace dress codes touch on a variety of issues, including workplace safety, freedom of speech, personal hygiene, customer relations, religious freedom, the minimum wage and racial and gender stereotypes. Employers have a number of legitimate reasons for imposing a dress code, but court rulings have limited their options...

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