Termination Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

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

Protection for (Some) HR Managers

Like most employment statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) prohibits retaliation against employees who file complaints. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that this protection even extends to oral complaints at work....more

Truthful Terminations May Lead to Better Consequences

We are often asked what, if anything, employers should tell an employee about the reasons for the employee’s termination, especially if the termination is abrupt. We tell employers to tell the truth....more

When Does Termination of the Employment Relationship Violate Public Policy? The Restatement of Employment Law Offers a New...

In July of 2015, the American Law Institute published the first Restatement of Employment Law. The Restatement provides a new lens through which employers, employees, and courts can evaluate the common law duties affecting...more

Discipline Based on Social Media Activity – An Update

Social media is no longer trendy. It’s commonplace, and so is discipline imposed because an employee posts something inappropriate. According to a Proskauer survey, 70 percent of employers report taking disciplinary action...more

Contracts May Not Be All They're Cracked Up To Be: The Extension Of Legal Protections In Employee Contractual Settings

For many years, employers have generally embraced a policy of utilizing at-will employment as often as possible, where employers and employees can end their relationship with each other at any time and for any (legal) reason....more

The EEOC's Battlecry: Cracking Down Hard on Religious Discrimination

On the heels of the biggest religious discrimination case in years, and in line with the EEOC's "hottest litigation trend" (according to David Lopez, General Counsel of the EEOC), the EEOC continued its charge against...more

Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement (BEM) vor krankheitsbedingter Kündigung

Sind Arbeitnehmer innerhalb eines Jahres länger als sechs Wochen ununterbrochen oder wiederholt arbeitsunfähig erkrankt, muss der Arbeitgeber nach § 84 Abs. 2 SGB IX klären, wie die Arbeitsunfähigkeit überwunden und wie der...more

Federal Court Allows Terminated Employee to Proceed with Age Discrimination Claim Despite Her Execution of a Release of Claims

A recent Colorado federal court decision serves as a good reminder to employers on how not to obtain a release of claims from a terminated employee. For starters, don’t tell the employee her job is being eliminated and then...more

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