Termination Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

Minimize the Legal Risks of Layoffs by Careful Consideration of Federal Layoff Laws

Layoff decisions can be difficult for employers for a number of reasons and it is important for any business to be fully informed when making such decisions. When a company makes a determination that layoffs are necessary,...more

What’s an “Implied” Request for an ADA Reasonable Accommodation?

Seyfarth Synopsis: A divided panel of the Eighth Circuit recently decided that an employer may be required to assume or infer from the circumstances that an employee is seeking a reasonable accommodation – even when no...more

Sweet Justice! Dismissal of Bully's FMLA Claim Proves Employers Can Safely Terminate an Employee on the Heels of FMLA Leave

I hate bullies. Back in 4th grade, Sister Mary Demetria, OSF, told us that “hating” someone was a sin. I’m convinced Sister never met a bully. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Cause, you see, whenever I...more

Seventh Circuit to Plaintiffs: Here's Your Burden of Proof

Most employees who file employment discrimination claims hope for one of two things – a really sympathetic jury or an employer that is willing to generously settle the lawsuit to avoid the risks and uncertainties of trial. ...more

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long),...more

EEOC Sues Legendary Baking For Disability Discrimination

Federal Agency Says Food Service Company Denied Long-Term Employee Accommodations, Then Fired and Failed to Rehire Her Because of Her Disability - CHICAGO - American Blue Ribbons Holding, LLC, dba Legendary Baking,...more

Does New Jersey's Conscientious "Everyone" Protection Act Trump the NLRB's Exclusive Jurisdiction? State Supreme Court says "Yes"...

Executive Summary: Just when employers thought New Jersey's Supreme Court could not expand the state's whistleblower law further (as we reported last summer), the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) once again has...more

EEOC Sues Hospital Over Flu Shot Dispute

In its continuing effort to press employers to accommodate workers under a variety of circumstances, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently sued a Massachusetts hospital over its flu shot policy. The June...more

French Labor Court Holds: Look The Other Way And Pay

France is world-renowned for its protection of employees against adverse employer actions, particularly unilateral terminations. Like virtually all other countries outside the United States, France does not recognize at-will...more

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on...more

Clarifications Regarding Trial Period by the French Supreme Court

With two decisions dated March 31 and April 15, 2016, the Employment Division of the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”) clarified the legal framework applicable to trial periods. The Supreme Court explained how to...more

Fourth Circuit Says Failure to Advise Employee of Leave Reinstatement Interfered with FMLA Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 Ragsdale decision rejected Department of Labor regulations stating that failure to provide employees with notice of leave rights was a per se violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act....more

Quirky Question #285: Potholes on the Ethical “High Road”

Question: We learned that some of our employees may have been engaging in unethical, and perhaps even illegal, behavior. We don’t tolerate this, so we hired a law firm to conduct an investigation, and based on the results...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

Three Blockbuster Summer Arbitration Decisions

While regular people count down the days to summer blockbusters that come in the form of high-paid actors fighting aliens or robots, I prefer my summer blockbusters in the form of arbitration opinions that have been months in...more

Mass Terminations—What Ontario Employers Need to Think About When Restructuring or Reducing Their Workforces

When discharging employees, it pays to be prepared. This is especially so when an employer is considering a large-scale restructuring....more

Please, Take Your Time: NJ Supreme Court Voids Contracts That Limit Workers’ Time to Sue

On June 15, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Sergio Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., in which it addressed whether the two-year statute of limitations under the New Jersey...more

Amorphous No More – Virginia Defines "Reasonable Notice" of Termination as "Effectual Notice" in the At-Will Employment Context

The Supreme Court of Virginia, in Johnston v. William E. Wood & Associates, Inc., No. 151160 (June 2, 2016), recently answered the question of what constitutes "reasonable notice" for terminating an at-will employee. The...more

The Importance of Job Descriptions

The importance of having accurate job descriptions for employees was illustrated by a recent case. In that case, the employee was let go by an employer after suffering a non-work related injury that the employer believed...more

Second Circuit Holds HR Professionals Can Be Liable as ‘Employers’ Under FMLA

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held that a human resources manager could be held liable as an employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In issuing its decision in Graziadio v. Culinary...more

The Rights and Limitations of Associational Discrimination under the ADA

While a recent Second Circuit case received lots of headlines regarding its discussion of individual liability under FMLA, the case has some other nuggets for employers to understand, as my colleague Gary Starr explains in...more

The Individual Liability You Never Knew You Had: Second Circuit Rules HR Directors May Be Liable for FMLA Violations

HR Directors, Beware: Your role in terminating employees may expose you to individual liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., Graziadio, a Payroll...more

Utah Governor Signs Law Restricting Post-Termination Noncompete Agreements

On March 22, 2016, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law the Post-Employment Restrictions Act (H.B. 251), which limits the duration of post-employment noncompete agreements between employers and employees to a maximum of...more

How to Fire a Conspiracy Theorist

Do you have an employee that is a conspiracy theorist? You know, someone like Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy. Tracy is the communications professor that claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre, Boston Marathon...more

Illinois Supreme Court “Upgrades” Willful Misconduct Requirements in Unemployment Cases

The longstanding statutory definition of “willful misconduct” that would disqualify an unemployment insurance claimant has been “the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employing unit,...more

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