No call is willful misconduct, means no unemployment

When an employee is fired for failing to follow call-off procedures when sick, he may lose unemployment benefits. That’s because violating the rules constitutes willful misconduct.

What to do when an employee quits without notice

Though you can’t control the actions of the employee or force him to stay in a job, you can mitigate the aftermath with a few smart steps.

Age bias: 6 parts of a legal severance waiver


Severance packages must conform to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and its companion law, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Together, the two laws dictate how you can legally ask employees to waive their rights to sue. When asking employees to waive their rights to age discrimination lawsuits, the waiver must fulfill the following conditions.

Believe employee lied? That's grounds for firing

You have the right to expect honesty from your employees. You can fire if you reasonably believe an employee lied about an absence, knowing that you are on safe legal ground if the employee sues.

Parking employee fired for venting at grief session

After a young, inexperienced driver for the Philadelphia Parking Authority accidentally ran over and killed a fellow employee, managers convened a grief counseling session. An already difficult gathering took a turn for the worse when the grief counselor asked for ideas on how to prevent such accidents ...

Insubordination is in the eye of the employer

Think an employee is acting disrespectfully? Firing him for insubordination will probably stick.

Employee quitting for medical reasons? Consider offering accommodation


Employees who quit their jobs for “necessitous and compelling” reasons may still be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Quitting because of medical problems sometimes qualifies. That’s why employers should consider offering accommodations if an employee says he needs to quit for medical reasons. An accommodation offer may mean there’s no “necessitous and compelling” reason to quit.

Anticipate lawsuit by offering second chance, fresh supervisor to struggling employee

If a marginal employee is having a hard time getting along with his boss, think about giving him a second chance with a new supervisor. It may help—and it won’t hurt if you still end up firing the employee.

Progressive discipline can help win bias suits


Discharged employees often sue, counting on their protected status—based on race, sex, national origin and so on—to create the impression that they were fired for discriminatory reasons. That’s why it’s important to use a progressive discipline system. It lets you counter discrimination allegations with solid, documented performance or behavior problems that warranted discharge.

5,000 terminations, 0 lawsuits: Her 7-step plan for success

An interview with Charlotte Miller, a former state bar president, corporate general counsel and currently the senior VP of People and Great Work for O.C. Tanner, reveals her strategy for litigation-free terminations.

Easy hack: Former employees often keep network access

It’s Item No. 1 on the termination checklist: Ensure former employees can’t get into the computer system. But only about half of IT administrators say they completely cut off network access the same day an employee is terminated.

School boards have wide latitude to terminate teachers for financial reasons

A Texas appellate court has upheld the discharge of a teacher for financial reasons. The case shows school districts have great discretion to determine which employees to cut and don’t have to be bogged down in a detailed examination.

Lawsuit repellent: Promotion, praise, pay raise

Employers that praise employees for a job well done and provide pay increases along with promotions rarely lose so-called constructive discharge lawsuits. That’s because an employee who has been praised and rewarded will have a tough time claiming her working conditions were so onerous that she had to quit.

In Dakota County firing, good HR results in bad PR

Dakota County’s community development director was recently fired amid allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment. Once word got out that the county intended to terminate him, reporters clamored for details. County officials delayed, noting that the director would remain on the payroll for 60 days following their decision. The county then extended his contract for another week ...

Settlement deal required resignation? No unemployment benefits for former employee


Workers whose employers make it unbearable to come to work are still eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s called constructive discharge. But what about an employee who files an EEOC complaint alleging unbearable working conditions and then settles the case for a lump-sum payment in exchange for resigning? According to a recent Minnesota decision, that’s a voluntary resignation, blocking benefits.

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