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Terminations

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Beware trumped up reasons for firing

09/07/2017
Sometimes, it is up to HR to stop bosses from doing the wrong thing—for example, when he is frustrated because he has to accommodate a disabled worker’s medical restrictions. If the supervisor comes up with an obviously implausible reason to fire the worker, expect trouble.

Beware discipline right after employee files lawsuit

08/30/2017
If an employee sues her employer and suddenly faces increased scrutiny, she may argue that she’s being retaliated against. She would have an even stronger case if the employer was singling her out for extra scrutiny.

What’s good enough to win one case might be a loser when applied to a different claim

08/30/2017
Even if you think you have a rock-solid reason to fire someone, don’t count on it as an airtight defense against every lawsuit. Your rationale might, for example, be an excellent defense against an age discrimination claim, but not against an FMLA claim.

Beware firing as employee nears eligibility to take FMLA leave

08/30/2017
If an employee says she is going to need FMLA leave as soon as she becomes eligible, terminating her may amount to interference with the right to take FMLA leave. That’s true even though she wasn’t eligible for leave when she was fired.

EEOC on the way? Prepare your supervisors

08/24/2017
If you haven’t had to interact with EEOC investigators yet, chances are you will eventually. And a supervisor who hasn’t been properly prepared to deal with EEOC investigators can sink your case fast.

Consider paying a little extra on termination

08/21/2017
Do you think you may have slightly underpaid an employee who is being terminated? Paying her a little extra as she heads out the door may fix that problem without penalty, based on California wage payment rules.

Never mention workers’ ages when discussing reduction in force

08/21/2017
What not to do when closing down offices in which workers are older than the company average: Mention that eventually you may be able to hire younger replacements at lower cost. That’s just asking for a lawsuit.

Time spent texting counts as absenteeism

08/17/2017
Workers who waste time on their personal electronics may be present physically but otherwise absent.

Was that really a layoff, or just an excuse to get rid of a squeaky wheel?

08/09/2017
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals had reinstated a lawsuit against a grain operator based on the suspicious timing of a discharge and the use of what the court thought sounded like a manufactured excuse for not rehiring the worker.

Got a good reason for firing? Then stick with it–or risk a lawsuit

08/03/2017
Generally speaking, the law does not tolerate inconsistency very well. That’s one reason it’s so important to be careful about how you explain someone’s termination. If your story changes, don’t be surprised if it winds up being used against you.
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