Q. As a large retail business, we employ several demo reps who present products to shoppers in the hope they’ll buy them. Recently, we’ve had to put increasing pressure on our demo reps to increase sales up to 200%. If a demo rep doesn’t meet the new goal, can we terminate him or her? Do they have legal recourse should they be fired?
There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.
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Some employees seem to have no problem picking fights and engaging in arguments with co-workers, customers and supervisors. You don’t have to put up with it. Generally, courts are hesitant to second-guess an employer’s decision to fire a disruptive worker unless there is a compelling reason.
When employees need intermittent FMLA leave, they are entitled to take time off free from work responsibilities. Of course, that may leave some tasks undone. Some employees, especially those in management positions, may feel obliged to work additional hours, or may sometimes forgo taking leave. As long as there’s no employer pressure to get the work done, that extra work won’t support an FMLA-interference lawsuit.
If you had to, could you quickly produce records showing that every employee who broke the same rule received the same punishment? Would you be able to readily explain any deviations? If you hesitated when answering these questions, it’s time for action.
In this economy, employees who have been fired often resort to litigation. Jobs are scarce and litigation looks lucrative. Smart employers protect themselves by carefully documenting exactly why they fired employees.