Wrongful Discharge

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    How an employee termination or layoff is handled on the front end can make all the difference in how the separation actually takes place. A well-executed, carefully planned termination can minimize problems and legal risks. A poorly executed, shoot-from-the-hip approach, on the other hand, can cost an employer dearly in terms of...

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    There is no federal law that obligates employers to adopt or follow any specific disciplinary process. In the vast majority of states, the default rule is that employment is at will, which means that the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason (or no reason) unless a law or agreement...

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    An employee recently lost a retaliatory discharge lawsuit because he couldn't prove the decision maker knew he had made complaints about discriminatory workplace comments. This case has been in the courts for a while. In fact, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Kentucky employers) sent the employee's retaliation...
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    An appeals court recently went to great lengths to reinstate a lawsuit against an employer that allegedly ignored work restrictions issued by a physician, failed to completely follow its own attendance policy, and referred to its employee as a "liability" when he requested Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Facts Alan Demyanovich...
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    On April 15, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision that significantly lowers the burden of proof for claims of workers' compensation retaliation under Section 287.780 of the Missouri Statutes. To prevail on a claim under the previous standard, an employee was required to prove that filing a workers' comp claim was the "exclusive"...
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    A Rapid City employee accused of helping a local trash collector evade higher load rates struck back with his own lawsuit after he was vindicated in a criminal trial. Let's look at how he fared. Facts In 2009, Rapid City Alderman Sam Kooiker (now the mayor of Rapid City) learned from citizens that Fish Garbage Service was allegedly cheating...
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    Employers would like to think that the at-will-employment doctrine and your freedom to exercise business judgment provide insulation from discriminatory discharge lawsuits. The reality, however, is that discriminatory discharge suits — even ones in which the discharge was for cause — can survive a request for dismissal and head to trial...
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    An at-will employee can be fired for any reason as long as the reason doesn't violate a statute or North Carolina public policy. The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently decided that the firing of a small town police chief violated public policy. As a result, the court upheld a jury award of $100,000. Background Timothy Blakeley was hired...
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    Under Minnesota law, an employee may not bring a wrongful discharge claim against her employer unless she was terminated for refusing to violate the law. This is known as the public-policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine. Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to expand the exception, refusing to recognize a new cause of...
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    In a recent win for employers, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District in Kansas City found that a car dealer's firing of an at-will employee for violating a company rule that bars employees from purchasing an auto from another dealer didn't violate Missouri public policy. Read further to get a clearer picture of when a firing is or...
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