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Firing

Can severance deal address unemployment?

09/17/2012
Q. We want to terminate an underperforming employee and are considering offering a severance agreement in which we agree not to contest unemployment benefits and he agrees to resign and release the company from any claims. Is that OK?

Can you fire an employee for smelling like tobacco smoke?

09/17/2012
Since 2007, when Minnesota’s Freedom to Breathe Act took effect, smoking has been banned in Minnesota workplaces. Now, new studies about the harmful effects of “third-hand smoke” have caused some employers to take their no-smoking policies to new heights.

Employment law features in Toledo courtroom drama

09/13/2012
It’s probably a good thing this case will be heard in Lucas County Court. A former law clerk for the Toledo Municipal Court has filed a lawsuit against the city, the court and six of its judges.

Worker broke no-violence rule? That’s grounds for discharge

09/13/2012
As long as you treat all employees equally, courts won’t second-guess your decision to fire someone for ­violating an anti-violence policy.

Fired for insisting on legal compliance, HR pro will get his day in court

09/13/2012
Here’s some encouragement for HR professionals caught in a seemingly no-win situation. If you are fired for insisting that the company comply with anti-discrimination laws, you probably can sue.

August’s 5th Avenue sidewalk shooting was work-related

09/10/2012

Fashion-industry designer Jeffrey Johnson had a long-running feud with sales executive Steven Ercolino. Both are now dead. On Aug. 24, Johnson waited outside Hazan Import’s office on 5th Avenue near the Empire State Build­­ing. As Ercolino and a co-worker approached the office, Johnson pulled out a pistol and opened fire.

Houston defense firm pays up in ‘regarded as disabled’ case

09/04/2012
BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Sys­­tems of Houston has agreed to settle a disability discrimination suit filed on behalf of a morbidly obese former employee.

Fired employee reinstated? That doesn’t excuse more misbehavior or poor performance

09/01/2012
Take heart if you have ever de­­cided to reinstate an employee or re­­scind discipline because the employee threatened litigation. Doing so won’t wipe clean his disciplinary record or imply that you admitted he’s living up to your expectations.

Worker fired for gross misconduct? No COBRA

09/01/2012
Employers can’t terminate em­­ployees just because a sick dependent increases health insurance costs for the employer. That violates ERISA. But if the employee is terminated for unrelated gross misconduct, he has no ERISA or COBRA claim.

Forsyth sheriff defends firing in motorcycle raffle kerfuffle

08/28/2012
Forsyth County Sheriff Bill Schatz­­man has denied any wrongdoing in the firing of Sgt. Michael T. Russell, an Iraq War veteran. Schatzman claims he fired Russell for “disloyalty.” Russell calls it retaliation.