• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Firing

Public employer? Beware retaliation against employee who testifies in civil rights case

06/20/2012
Ordinarily, civil servants have qualified immunity for actions arising from their official duties as government workers. But punishing a subordinate for testifying in a civil rights lawsuit clearly destroys that immunity.

Tragic personal history doesn’t excuse misbehavior

06/18/2012
If you have a no-violence rule, you don’t have to alter the punishment based on the employee’s personal history, no matter how tragic.

Discipline hothead who won’t accept decision

06/15/2012

Smart employers try to fix discrimination and harassment problems right away. But sometimes the complaining employee wants more than the employer is willing to give and simply gets angry. If anger turns into insubordination, you can discipline without fear of losing a lawsuit.

OSHA seeks reinstatement of art school whistle-blower

06/11/2012
OSHA is suing the Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto after it fired an employee who complained to the feds about safety concerns.

Company itself may be liable when CEO is the harasser

06/11/2012
Here’s a difficult situation for even the most experienced HR pro: What should you do if you believe the head of your company is a harasser? There’s no easy answer, as this case shows.

Honestly believe worker lied? It’s OK to terminate him

06/11/2012
Did an employee lie about an illness and abuse FMLA leave? As long as you honestly and in good faith believe the employee was dishonest, your disciplinary decision will hold up in court.

Premarital sex or pregnancy discrimination? One’s protected while the other is not

06/11/2012
There is no freedom from discrimination based on having premarital sex, but there is a right to be free of pregnancy discrimination. It may seem odd, but employers can technically fire someone for behavior that doesn’t meet the employer’s “moral” standards as long as no other protected characteristic is involved.

Beware national-origin bias charges following criticism of accent

06/11/2012
Do you have employees who were born and raised in other countries and who therefore speak English with heavy, foreign-sounding accents? If so, be careful how you approach any discussion about their speech. If supervisors or managers criticize workers’ accents, a national-origin discrimination lawsuit may be in your company’s future.

Don’t count FMLA against attendance record

06/11/2012
Employers that count FMLA-covered absences against employees are interfering with their FMLA rights. Before you make a final termination decision based on poor attendance, make absolutely sure that you have excluded all possible FMLA leave.

Document exactly why you fired employee

06/11/2012

In this economy, employees who have been fired often resort to litigation. Jobs are scarce and litigation looks lucrative. Smart employers protect themselves by carefully documenting exactly why they fired employees.