Overview: Employee terminations are restricted for certain reasons or without proper procedures. While Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits termination which discriminates against protected classes of workers, state law can be more expansive in creating classes of workers who are eligible for such protections, shielding employees who are not covered by federal law. Similarly, some states have broader restrictions against retaliatory terminations for certain types of protected activities, like filing workers' compensation claims and for blowing the whistle on unlawful or wasteful practices in the workplace.
Federal and state law also requires employers to utilize notification procedures when they plan to lay off large numbers of employees or close an entire facility. The federal WARN Act sets the minimum standard for covered employers, but some states impose even stricter requirements on employers based on the number of employees they plan to discharge.
Employees leave a company for other reasons as well, through retirement and resignations, some of which can be viewed as forced resignations or constructive discharges. Exit interviews and managing the exit process should be handled consistently and in compliance with federal and state law.
Trends: Employers are increasingly gravitating toward severance packages for employees terminated involuntarily in exchange for waivers or releases of claims against the employer. With these systems in place, employers can preemptively eliminate post-termination threats by providing outgoing employees with something of value. Employers must be prudent, however, in ensuring that such termination agreements are enforceable by crafting agreements in easily digestible language, providing valuable consideration in exchange for waivers and fully documenting the exchange.
Author: Michael Jacobson, JD, Legal Editor
As mandated by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) some employers are required to provide this notice to terminated employees.
As mandated by the State of California, Employment Development Department (EDD), all employers are required to provide this notice to terminated employees.
As mandated by the State of California, Employment Development Department (EDD), all California employers must provide this notice to terminated employees.
As mandated by the State of California, Employment Development Department (EDD), some employers are required to provide this notice to employees in some situations.
This briefing for supervisors provides a protocol and best practices for employee termination, from the disciplinary process through to the post-termination period.
Eleven sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to reflect the recent passage of two new ordinances in San Francisco that, once signed by the city's mayor, would establish significant new rules for chain stores.
A New Jersey employer should ensure compliance with individual state and local requirements for workplace notices. This chart contains information regarding New Jersey-specific notice requirements.
This new chart contains information regarding state-specific notice requirements, including helpful links to the relevant notices in the Policies and Documents Tool.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to involuntary terminations.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment at-will.
Guidance for HR on understanding and complying with federal and state law regarding legal and fair employee terminations.