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Talking the talk: Be careful with these 5 ‘lightning rod’ terms

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,Firing,HR Management,Human Resources

Layoff or firing? Probationary or "permanent" employee? Using the wrong employment-related terminology with an employee can expose your company to costly lawsuits. Here's a look at five of the most common examples:

1. 'Permanent employee'

"Employment at-will" is the rule in most states. That means you can fire an employee at any time, for any reason (except an unlawful one), as long as you don't promise a job for a specific period of time. But many managers don't realize that labeling someone a "permanent employee" essentially promises a job for life, or at least until retirement age, and can destroy this at-will status.

Managers often make the mistake of referring to employees as "permanent employees" when the employee passes their probationary period. Advice: Start using the term "regular employee."

2. 'Layoff'

Use the term "layoff" only when you end an employment relationship due to lack of work. If you end the relatio...(register to read more)

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