Employers get lots of leeway when it comes to terminating employees. For example, courts generally uphold firing someone for breaking a rule as long as the employer reasonably believed the employee broke the rule—even if it turns out he did not. But when it looks as if the employer tried to trick the employee into breaking a rule, judges won’t look the other way.
Employees who quit after being told they may be terminated aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s especially true if quitting provides another benefit, such as the ability to use the employer as a reference.
Detroit Lakes-based Herzog Roofing has agreed to pay $71,500 to settle a racial harassment charge filed by former employees. The money will be split among seven blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans who alleged they were subjected to racial epithets, racist jokes and other forms of workplace bias.
In today’s tough economy, it’s sometimes necessary to terminate employees. That may be especially true when new technology makes it easier to perform some tasks, reducing the need for employees.
Here’s something to remember when you’re worried about firing someone because you might get sued: Judges don’t want to run HR departments. As long as HR acts honestly and believes the employee should be fired because she broke a company rule, chances are a lawsuit won’t succeed.
Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.
New regulations implementing the FLSA are now in effect, and they mark a significant change in federal wage-and-hour rules—and how the DOL enforces them. The new regulations were created to make FLSA regulations consistent with changes driven by other applicable federal laws. Be mindful of these new regulations and the additional burdens they impose.
In late June, days before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a massive class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination at Walmart, home electronics retailer Best Buy opted to settle a bias-based class-action suit of its own. Nine employees will split $200,000. Their lawyers will get $10 million.
Here’s something to remember when your attorneys are negotiating a settlement agreement in a pending lawsuit or other claim: As soon as you and the other party agree to an offer, a contract is formed and the terms are binding. That’s true even if the agreement hasn’t yet been signed.
Minnesota employers may be finding fewer qualified applicants to fill their available job openings. The labor shortage isn’t because the state’s economy is suddenly booming again. It’s because employers in neighboring North Dakota are dipping into the Minnesota talent pool.