Out with the Old, In with the New

With 2018 underway, it’s time to review areas of improvement for the New Year.

Here are a few items to work on:

Not giving an employee a reason for termination, and simply stating that you are “an at-will employer.” Remember that “at-will” is a defense, and that if you don’t give an employee a reason for the termination, they will write their own story, typically one that is not favorable for your organization.

Accepting excuses from managers concerning why they have not counseled and documented performance, behavior, etc., with their employees. This is their responsibility as managers, and if they aren’t performing, they should be written up. This behavior places your organization at risk for lawsuits.

Training. For managers and employees. This is the year to do it. In the wake of last year’s #metoo movement, this will be essential in the coming months.

Review your documents. Does your handbook, offer letter, policy, or form create potential liability for your organization? Do you follow what you have committed to in writing? Contact your Employers Council representative for assistance with this process.

Remember that the end of Family and Medical Leave Act or other medical leave does not automatically allow termination of the employee. It is still necessary to engage in the interactive process if there is a disability and additional leave will allow the employee to return to work.

Carefully evaluate unemployment claims to determine whether or not they are worth contesting. If there are other potential legal claims that could be brought against the organization, it may be better not to go to a hearing, as it can turn into a fishing expedition for the former employee’s attorney.