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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
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When new employee quits, know the legal way to recoup your training costs


It’s expensive to train employees, especially if the job is highly specialized. Smart employers protect their investments by having new employees sign an agreement to repay training costs if they leave soon after receiving the valuable benefit. Here’s how to recoup those costs.

Nail down specific dates to defeat late lawsuits

Courts are losing patience with former employees who wait to sue an employer—as long as the employer can produce concrete proof that the employee filed too late.

Asking worker to stay can counter constructive discharge

Employees who believe they work in a hostile environment can quit and claim they were “constructively discharged,” arguing that no reasonable person would stay and suffer intolerable conditions. But when an employer responds to a resignation with entreaties to stay, chances are the employee will have a hard time arguing things were so terrible she had to quit.

Beware constructive discharge: When work is so intolerable, employee feels he must quit


Every once in a while, an employee is such a pain in the neck that a manager wishes he would just quit. Methodically, the boss makes life increasingly difficult for the problem child. Finally, the employee resigns. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Now the employee can sue, claiming “constructive discharge.”

Remind bosses about legal risk of ‘make workers so miserable they quit’ strategy


Some supervisors wrongly assume that employees can’t sue if they quit—only if they’re fired. That makes some bosses think the best way to get rid of overly litigious employees is to make life so horrible that they quit. That’s not smart. Employees who find working conditions so intolerable that they have no choice but to quit can still sue for constructive discharge.

Discrimination or paranoia? Courts can distinguish

Courts are beginning to get tough on employees who say they had no choice but to quit and then sue for alleged discrimination.

Use exit interviews to identify patterns of supervisor’s hidden discrimination


Do you suspect a rogue supervisor is driving away employees belonging to a protected class? If so, begin asking tougher questions during your exit interviews. For example, if several black employees who work under the same supervisor have quit or requested transfers, find out why. The problem may be a biased supervisor …

Pay cut may be legit reason to quit, collect unemployment

To deal with a down economy, employers sometimes cut employee pay. A significant pay reduction may be grounds for an employee to quit and collect unemployment.

Worker quit to care for parent? Know state law


The news is filled with stories about unemployed workers who can’t find jobs. Yet despite the downturn, some employees find they still must quit their jobs to care for elderly parents. In Pennsylvania, the law makes that easier.

Can you pass the constructive discharge test? Beware lawsuits from employees who quit

Some supervisors wrongly assume that employees who quit can’t sue because they weren’t fired. That’s not true. An employee who finds conditions so intolerable that he or she has no choice but to quit can sue and allege termination. Fortunately, courts expect employees to have relatively thick skins. Workplaces will never be perfect and courts don’t expect them to be.