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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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NYC guidance counselor fired over old lingerie photos

A school guidance counselor is suing the New York City Department of Education after she was fired after some long-ago photos of her modeling lingerie surfaced on the Internet. Her lawsuit claims discrimination and wrongful termination.

Beat FMLA suit by showing you would have fired anyway

Employees who have taken FMLA leave and then been fired often sue. However, all is not lost for ­employers faced with such a case—if they can show they would have fired the em­­ployee anyway. In fact, chances are, they’ll win.

The dark side of the moon: Employee loses $2M

An investment banker in Chicago, unhappy when he discovered a co-worker had been fired, mooned his boss. He was fired and, as a result, lost out on a $2 million payout that would have vested in a couple of months.

A slur is a slur, no matter the language–and deserves harsh discipline

You don’t tolerate slurs spoken in English, do you? Then don’t put up with vile, intolerant and demeaning speech in other languages. It’s the content that matters, not the language spoken.

Suspect employee has relapsed into drug use? Never say so without proof


Under the ADA, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against employees who have a history of drug addiction but who aren’t current users. Before you or anyone else in management comments on suspicions that an employee has backslid, make sure you have evidence to back the claim.

Is car trouble a firing offense?


Q. An employee frequently comes in late or is absent because of car troubles. Is this a justifiable reason for termination? To avoid this issue in the future, can we ask applicants if they have a reliable means of transportation to get to work?

Handicapped man fired for limping, typing too slowly

A former employee in Bank of America’s mortgage office in Pittsburgh is suing the bank, claiming he was fired because of his disability.

Sleeping on the job? No unemployment benefits

Employers that fire a worker for being caught sleeping on the job may not be liable for unemployment compensation benefits. On-the-job snoozing can be considered willful misconduct if it’s clear it violates company policy.

OK to take your time probing misconduct–that won’t affect unemployment claim

Good news for employers that hold off on firing an employee for an act that would otherwise be willful misconduct, making the employee ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. As long as you can explain why you delayed actually terminating the employee, she won’t receive unemployment benefits.

Worker fired for gross misconduct? No COBRA

You can’t terminate em­­ployees just because they (or their sick dependents) increase the company’s health insurance costs. That violates ERISA. But remember, if you fire an employee for an unrelated incident of gross misconduct, the employee has no right to an ERISA claim, nor any right to buy COBRA continuing health insurance after he or she departs.