Termination

News & Analysis as of

IRS Announces That It Will No Longer Refund FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

The IRS recently announced that severance payments are taxable wages under FICA, and thus employers who seek tax refunds on those payments will be denied. The IRS’s position reflects the United States Supreme Court’s ruling...more

Supervisor Not "Qualified Individual" Under ADA after Failing DOT Medical Certification

Determining the essential functions of a job can be tricky, especially if there is no information or documentation with which to compare and consider. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit considered...more

Spiritual Director Doesn't Have a Prayer When it Comes to Her Discrimination and Termination Claims

Religious employers can rejoice once again, as yet another court upholds the ministerial exception and dismisses an employee's discrimination and termination claims....more

Termination Of Employee For Engaging In Outside Work While On FMLA/CFRA Upheld, But “Honest Belief” Standard Not Addressed

In Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., the California Supreme Court held that an arbitrator committed no legal error when he determined that an employer lawfully terminated an employee for engaging in outside employment while on...more

Should An Employer Fight Unemployment? The Debate Continues . . .

You may remember that I stirred up some contentiousness a few weeks ago when I suggested that employers should not challenge unemployment claims except in the worst cases. ...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Misconduct Exception for Unemployment Benefits

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear a case from Division 5 of the First District, Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security. Petrovic presents an interesting issue on the...more

Texas court rules disabled employees must ask for accommodations

What’s an employer to do when a disabled employee has repeated opportunities to ask for an accommodation but doesn’t act on them? In a recent case, a federal court in Texas ruled that the employer was justifiable in...more

California Supreme Court Reaffirms High Bar for Reversal of Arbitration Decision

Avery Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., et al. - Supreme Court of California (January 29, 2015) - Generally, courts cannot review arbitration awards for errors of fact or law, except as provided for under limited...more

St. Alexius Medical Center of Hoffman Estates To Pay $125,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Suit

Hospital Fired Employee With Cognitive Disabilities Rather Than Reasonably Accommodate Her, Federal Agency Charged - CHICAGO - St. Alexius Medical Center of Hoffman Estates will pay $125,000 to a former employee as...more

Prognosis Negative: You’re Not Immune to Company Policy Under California Leave Law

In Richey v. Autonation, Inc., issued January 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court reinstated an arbitration award against the plaintiff and confirmed that employers retain the right to terminate employees who violate...more

Inventory Computation Exclusion Bars Employee Theft Claim in Alabama

Employee theft claims are frequently problematic when the only evidence of shortage is a comparison between computer records and a physical inventory conducted after the malefactor has been discharged.  ...more

You Must Be Sober For More Than A Week To Keep Your Truck Driving Job

If a commercial driver is diagnosed with chronic alcoholism, can his employer terminate him a week later because his diagnosis excludes him from performing the essential functions of his job? In Jarvela v. Crete Carrier...more

“Honest Belief” Defense Remains Unresolved In California

The California Supreme Court refused to decide whether the “honest belief” defense to discrimination and retaliation claims is valid under California law. Instead, in Richey v. Autonation, Inc., the Court punted on the...more

Hot Tips For Employee Terminations

Would you rather get your teeth drilled or fire that problem employee? It is easily the most painful part of the employment process. The case law of employment claims is ripe with horrible stories of terminations gone...more

Employers, Don’t Be Caught In The “Bogus RIF” Trap!

I was disappointed earlier this week to see a consultant quoted in an otherwise good article in the Wall Street Journal – “Employee Theft Often Leads Small Firms to Make Bad Choices” — as advising the “bogus RIF” strategy...more

Sacking UK Employee for Inappropriate Tweets May be a “Fair” Dismissal Under UK Law

In the recent case of Game Retail Limited v Laws, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (or “EAT“) considered the fairness of an employee’s dismissal for offensive tweets. This is the first time this issue has been considered at...more

Breaking Up Is Still So Hard to Do: DOL Clarifies H-1B Bona Fide Termination Rule

Employers must navigate through a maze of complex regulations when seeking H-1B temporary authorization to hire foreign nationals in specialty occupations. Yet, as hard as it is to hire H-1B employees, it can be even more...more

Facebooker–Good Citizen or Fired?

Can an employee’s Facebook post be grounds for termination? The Fifth Circuit says, “Yes.” Graziosi v. City of Greenville Mississippi, No. 13-60900 (5th Cir. January 9, 2015). A police officer posted on her Facebook page and...more

Employee investigation tips

Employers investigate all sorts of odd or disturbing claims. Knowing how to properly investigate these claims is critical. A recent case from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals put this on full display....more

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award

Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine for approximately 11 months claimed she was sexually harassed, retaliated against, subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress and was constructively terminated from...more

Post-termination restrictions in a nutshell - to what extent will they protect your global business?

United Kingdom - In the UK, a contractual term restricting an employee's activities after termination of employment will be void for being in restraint of trade and contrary to public policy, unless the employer can...more

Former Employees Behaving Badly

Commonly, dismissed employees behave badly post-dismissal. Not only does bad behaviour post-dismissal often confirm an employer's difficult decision to terminate the employee's employment, it can also be used to defend an...more

What’s Mine is Not Yours: Former Officers and Directors and a Corporation’s Attorney–Client Privilege

An officer or director’s company exit often feels like a divorce, with post-departure monetary payments and document-custody issues dominating the immediate aftermath. Companies are quick to enforce non-compete agreements and...more

Offensive Twitter Comments and Unfair Dismissal

In Game Retail Limited v Laws UKEAT0188/14, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether the dismissal of an employee for tweeting offensive comments from a personal Twitter account was unfair....more

Ninth Circuit Defends Employer’s Discharge of Worker With a History of Intimidation and Threats

Curley v. City of North Las Vegas, No. 12-16228 (December 2, 2014): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a judgment against a worker who claimed that he was fired because of his hearing impairment in violation...more

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