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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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Employee won’t cooperate with investigation? That’s legitimate grounds for discharge

You can reasonably expect em­­ployees to cooperate with internal investigations so you can get all the facts and make well-informed decisions. You can and should discipline workers who won’t assist.

Admitted wrongdoing is grounds for discharge

If you think an employee has broken a rule, ask her. If she admits she did, that’s reason enough to terminate her. Just make sure you ask the question of every suspected rule-breaker before disciplining them.

NLRB orders reinstatement of Facebooking tour guide

The NLRB has ordered a New York City tour bus company to reinstate a tour guide who was fired because of what he wrote on Face­­book. The board ruled that his postings were protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act.

Beware firing for forwarding emails that might support retaliation claim

Be careful before firing someone for violating email policies that prohibit forwarding company documents to a personal email account. If the forwarded documents support an EEOC or other discrimination complaint, and if the forwarding isn’t “disruptive,” firing the employee could trigger a retaliation claim.

Part-time workers have same rights as others

Some managers mistakenly believe there’s no danger in firing a new part-time employee. That’s just not true. Remind them to always run discipline by HR before taking action.

Beware firing disabled yet active worker


You just found out that an em­­ployee who’s out on medical leave—with severe restrictions on his activities—recently participated in a running event. What should you do? Think twice before you say, “Fire him!” That could cause lengthy and needless litigation.

When firing, consider all the circumstances–but prepare for lawsuit


Fired employees who file lawsuits alleging they were singled out for discipline because of some form of discrimination usually follow a basic legal strategy. They try to find a former co-worker outside their protected class who was punished less severely for similar conduct. Your best defense against those lawsuits is to make sure you carefully document all discipline.

Is it legal to fire all your employees, then ask them to reapply?


Sometimes, it becomes apparent that something in the workplace has to change. In some cases, employers have decided to terminate everyone and have them all reapply for their jobs. A recent federal court ruling says this may be a viable approach …

Insist that workers follow internal grievance process

Do you require employees to use an internal grievance policy when they have a complaint about working conditions? That policy may apply to re­­tal­­i­­ation claims too, even if the em­­ployee has been fired. Failing to use the proc­­ess may cancel the right to sue.

No cooperation on ADA accommodations? Then it’s time to consider termination

Some disabled employees take the approach that it’s their way or no way when it comes to accommodations that would allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Fortunately, employers have leeway in exactly which accommodation should be used.