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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly


Federal court to decide: Does firing a pregnant employee violate public policy in N.C.?

A federal court has said it will soon decide a case that may make pregnancy discrimination illegal in North Carolina. At issue is whether North Carolina employers are liable for wrongful discharge if they fire a pregnant woman from her at-will job.

Reconsider if complaint that led to firing is recanted

If you’re ready to fire an employee because of a co-worker’s or customer’s complaint, think twice if the complaint is recanted. Otherwise, the fired employee may sue, claiming that your stated discharge reason was false and merely an excuse to terminate.

Weigh employee’s good-faith intentions before contesting unemployment benefits


Employees don’t qualify for un­­employment benefits if they’re fired for misconduct. After all, it’s their own fault they were fired. Mis­­conduct generally includes actions that violate a so-called “reasonable employer” rule. However, employees who violate an employer’s reasonable rule because of a good-faith error in judgment can still collect benefits.

Mandatory firings lead to $380K ADA settlement

Mokena-based United Road Towing will pay $380,000 to settle charges it discriminated against employees by terminating them at the end of their medical leaves rather than exploring possible accommodations.

Too much time online can be misconduct

If you limit personal use of electronics and fire an employee for violating that rule, he can’t get unemployment benefits. Excess online time is misconduct under those circumstances.

Fire away if worker abuses intermittent leave

If you suspect intermittent FMLA leave abuse, take action. You can check up on the employee or ask her what she is doing on the days she designates as intermittent leave. If she’s not using the time as required, you can discipline her.

Minnesota Senate braces for Brodkorb’s sex bias lawsuit

Michael Brodkorb, the once-powerful Minnesota Senate staffer fired following allegations he had a sexual affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, has filed a sex discrimination complaint with the EEOC. So far, the state Senate has racked up $46,000 in legal bills contesting Brodkorb’s suit.

Shoddy work may cost unemployment benefits

Are you frustrated with an employee who seems to never get the job done right? Before you terminate her, give her plenty of opportunity to improve. Show her what she is supposed to do and document when she doesn’t.

Don’t be afraid to fire insubordinate supervisor

Not everyone is cut out to be a boss. Some employees just can’t direct others or criticize their work. If a supervisor can’t—or won’t—do his job, termination may be inevitable.

Years-old comments won’t support discrimination claim

Everyone occasionally says something insensitive. Fortunately, verbal blunders can’t form the basis of a lawsuit if the comments occurred ages ago.