Employment & Labor Law

The Danger in Hiding Behind Your ‘At-Will’ Status During a Termination Meeting

In my experience, pointing to your at-will status as your reason for letting someone go is rarely the best option.  It leaves the ex-employee confused and searching for answers.  So, while you may have let your employee go for a legitimate (and legal) reason, by not stating this during the termination you create a situation where their imagination is free to wander.  The reasons she comes up with on her own may be much worse and result in the kind of legal headaches you are hoping to avoid.  Perhaps she believes that the reason you fired her is because she was your only employee over 40 yea

HIPAA & COBRA: Three Action Items that may help with ACA Compliance

With all of the hullabaloo of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it can be easy to forget about HIPAA and COBRA. With recent changes, more enforcement and larger penalties, letting ACA eclipse HIPAA and COBRA can be a costly mistake to make. After years of experience, people often forget how important it is to remain in compliance with HIPAA and COBRA and that the same simple steps may also make ACA compliance easier and more efficient.

Is Your Company Covered By USERRA?

USERRA applies to any employer that either pays an individual a salary or wages to perform work or controls an individual’s employment opportunities. This broad definition includes an individual or organization to which an employer delegates the performance of any employment-related responsibilities. An entity that performs only “ministerial functions,” however, such as personnel file maintenance or, presumably, paycheck processing, is not considered an employer.

Recruiting for Top Executive Talent in Today’s Economic Environment

Companies may find that hiring executives in today’s economy is more difficult based on a lower labor participation rate combined with low unemployment. The factors support the contention that companies must increase their scope of networking techniques and further concentrate on determining the talent level of those candidates who apply. Although not difficult to identify the unemployed, the true skill is in determining if candidates are a fatality of downsizing efforts or if there are serious performance difficulties.

Preparing to Respond to Workplace Harassment

Small Michigan manufacturer pays out $50,000 to settle a harassment complaint filed with a government agency. No handbook. No training. Bad behavior. No investigation. No defense, so write the check. How often does this happen? Not often, but isn’t once still too often? What about lost productivity, the rumors, and even the bad press? The distraction from the core business? The distrust amongst those who would otherwise prefer to be teammates? These always cost more than any fine.

When bad behavior occurs, is an employer without defense? Not at all; you can be prepared.