Sometimes, employers conducting harassment investigations find themselves in no-win situations, especially when there are conflicting claims and classic “he said, she said” scenarios. You risk a lawsuit if you fire the alleged harasser, most likely alleging some other illegal reason for your decision to terminate. The way to win these cases: Thoroughly document the investigation.
There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.
Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!
An administrative law judge has ruled the township of Leoni violated the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) when it terminated Benjamin Brzezinski for refusing to enter a sewer he felt was unsafe.
Q. We are downsizing and letting go a long-time employee. We want to help her out by giving her a severance package. What should we consider?
Former employees and their lawyers are always looking for ways to maximize what they can get from former employers. One way is to add a wrongful discharge claim if an employee is fired after he or she complains about workplace safety. These cases can get quite expensive, as the following case shows.
Q. We’re closing our doors and firing all of our employees. As president, I am considering not paying my employees their final paychecks, even though they have earned that pay. Is this a risk?
Issue: Poorly written layoff letters can open your organization to legal action. No matter how you write layoff letters, they are bound to anger employees, especially if the employees don’t see it coming. Don’t give irate employees legal ammunition by writing misleading, inaccurate or insensitive layoff letters. Action: Create notices that explain the layoff in the most straightforward, respectful manner possible. To avoid legal action, think of layoff letters as informal legal documents that include the following:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates how your company performs a job background check on applicants. Contrary to popular belief, this federal law doesn’t just cover credit checks. It covers any background report, such as driving records and criminal histories obtained from a “consumer reporting agency.”
More pink slips are on the horizon. According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, 1 million more job cuts are likely in 2009. But, there's a silver lining among all the dark clouds of this recession, says the firm's chief executive, John Challenger, and it's this: Layoffs can be good news, in a strange way.
Older employees who learn they might be laid off for economic reasons—especially those who have recently spoken with an employment lawyer—have begun trying an interesting tactic: They’re volunteering to work for less pay. Take those offers seriously.
When you fire an employee for misconduct and he proceeds to file an unemployment compensation claim, how does your organization respond? In recent years, record numbers of U.S. employers have challenged those payouts. The rise in challenges can be pegged to more employers citing misconduct as the reason for terminations.