Firing “At-Will” Employees: How to Protect Yourself

With “at-will” employment, do you actually need a reason to fire someone? The answer is YES!

Firing "At-Will" EmployeesThat is, unless you can guarantee the employee knows exactly why you fired him or her. You must have absolutely no doubt they think their firing was not because of age, sex, religion, national origin and other protected classes.

The “at-will” employment principle means employers can terminate employees without showing cause or even have no reason at all.

However, you had better been sure that you not only had a strong reason, but that it was also lawful and well documented. Defending a charge of violation of an employee’s civil rights, you need to declare a valid reason for your action, as well as proving—in a court of law—that your actions are permitted, true and without prejudice.

When hiring, the last thing on your mind is discipline or termination. However, some employees simply do not work out.

Some things to consider when deciding to terminate (or discipline) an employee, even in an “at-will” situation:

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Workplace Fairness? Handling Pay for Employee Resignations

Do Voluntary Resignations Require Advance Notice?

Employee Resignations

As an employer, you are always under pressure to manage costs effectively.  Few companies willingly spend a penny more than necessary.

Controlling payroll costs make it imperative to know how to handle the times when an employee resigns. Some companies require two weeks’ notice of resignation, and you will pay them for the entire two weeks, even if the company lets the employee go prior to the two weeks.

It might be easier—and less costly— to pay for the full two-week notice period, when requesting an employee to give advance notice.

Can employees be required to provide two weeks’ notice of a resignation? What happens when releasing the employee prior to the conclusion of the two-week notice period?  Is the company obliged to pay the employee for the entire two weeks? What if it is only a request, but not required?

Continue reading “Workplace Fairness? Handling Pay for Employee Resignations”