Tag: termination of employment

Lessons on Accommodating Anxiety Disorders

“Birthdays were invented to sell Hallmark cards.” – Ron Swanson If you’ve ever watched the show “Parks and Recreation,” you know Leslie Knope lives for birthdays, but her boss, Ron Swanson, hates them. In one episode, Leslie pranks Ron by pretending to plan an elaborate birthday party for him, and he has a meltdown. The […]

Unwelcome Office Birthday Party Leads to $450K Verdict, Lessons on Disability Law

Misunderstandings over an office birthday party recently taught a Kentucky employer an expensive lesson about disability discrimination. A jury awarded $450,000 to the affected employee who didn’t want the party and allegedly suffered a panic attack afterward. The employer’s alleged, repeated mishandling of the worker’s behavior after the episode offers the best explanation for the […]

College Shoots ‘Airball’ in Basketball Coach’s FMLA Lawsuit

An “airball,” or a basketball shot that misses the backboard, rim, and net entirely, sums up an appeals court’s recent opinion about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation and interference claims filed by a college coach. The ruling contains multiple lessons for all Texas employers covered by the Act.

COVID-19 Is Not a Natural Disaster Under WARN Act

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Texas employers) has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is not considered a natural disaster, thus it is not an exception to the federal law that requires businesses to give employees advance notice of mass layoffs. Employers could find themselves liable for mass layoffs […]

Workplace Investigations: Leveraging the ‘Honest-Belief Rule’

Conducting investigations of disputed workplace events is a routine responsibility for HR leaders. Faced with disputed facts, employers can make reasonable fact determinations based on a diligent probe and still obtain summary dismissal of a discrimination claim. A recent decision from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals confirms how employers can best ensure the […]

‘I Got Fired . . . But I Still Want My Commissions’

Although it involves Texas law, a recent case illustrates the pitfalls an employer can face when former employees make claims for commissions or compensation after their employment has ended. It also offers suggestions on how employers with commissioned salespeople can avoid the same traps.

Employee Fired for Excessive Absences After Making Need for FMLA Leave Known

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee’s right to take medical leave. When pursuing such a claim, an employee need not allege the employer intended to deny the benefit, just that it was withheld. The employer’s motives are irrelevant when determining whether interference occurred. Of course, the […]

Managing Alternative Coverage and COBRA Coverage

The current economic turbulence and uncertainty, caused in large part by the business reaction to COVID-19, has forced employers to rethink how they manage benefits for workers who suffer job loss (including—aside from termination of employment—layoffs, temporary furloughs, and leaves of absence). One of the key benefits (other than cash) provided to employees who suffer […]

Employer’s Suspect Gross Misconduct Finding and Imprecise Notice Format Mean COBRA Claim Proceeds

The gross misconduct exception under COBRA means that if an employee’s employment is terminated due to gross misconduct, continuation coverage does not have to be offered to the terminated employee or the terminated employee’s family. One of the many tricky aspects of administering the gross misconduct rule is that the decision should be made at […]