Do you worry that encouraging someone to retire when he’s facing disciplinary action could backfire? Relax. In most circumstances, a voluntary retirement that isn’t pressured or forced because of a threat of imminent discharge isn’t considered a constructive discharge.
Recent case: Edwin Jolly had worked in the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s information technology division for 22 years. Then, he got into a dispute with his supervisors about implementation of a new email system. The argument grew heated and Jolly ended up being placed on paid administrative leave while the university launched a disciplinary investigation.
Before the investigation progressed, Jolly tendered his resignation and announced he would be retiring immediately.
Then he sued the university, alleging that working conditions had been so terrible that he had no choice but to retire. He claimed he had heard rumors that he was about to be fired.
The court tossed out his case. It reasoned that rumors aren’t enough to warrant quitting and retiring. There was no evidence that the university had made Jolly’s working life so objectively intolerable that he had no choice but to quit. While it might have been frustrating and stressful to be placed on leave, he didn’t lose any money and wasn’t in imminent danger of termination. (Jolly v. University of North Carolina at Wilmington, No. 7:09-CV-136, ED NC, 2011)
Final note: As an employer, you shouldn’t bring up retirement. Instead, let the employee propose it. If he does, send him to the HR staffer who handles retirement eligibility. Treat the employee just as you would any other employee asking about retirement benefits.
It’s also a good idea to contact your attorney as soon as the employee mentions retirement, especially if he ties the idea to pending disciplinary action.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/29442/court-retirement-isnt-constructive-discharge "
- Supreme Court: Complaints don't have to be in writing to be protected
- New for New York employers: union posters, NYC religious accommodation
- Are there ADA implications if we ask applicants to take personality tests?
- Accommodate workers' eating needs when it's medically necessary
- What's wrong with this picture? You be the judge