Safeguarding Against Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
Most states in the U.S. allow employers to terminate a position at-will. However, the patchwork of state wrongful termination laws can make it difficult for business owners to make informed decisions regarding the risks attached to retaining or releasing an employee.
Whether your business operates within one state or you have employees spread out across the country, our employment and labor team at Berenzweig Leonard has an expansive understanding of the laws that protect your rights to terminate an employee. We routinely work with executives, Chief Human Resource officers, and business owners to design termination policies that comply with state and federal laws, minimizing the likelihood of a lawsuit.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
State and federal laws prohibit employers from firing workers for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation for raising complaints in the workplace. Employees who are members of a protected class may not be fired because they are pregnant or terminated due to race, gender, religious affiliation, disability, age, or their nation of origin. State laws may extend protections to other groups, which can complicate matters for companies who employ workers throughout the nation.
Tips For Protecting Your Business
We encourage our business clients to take a proactive approach when they are developing their termination policies. Following these steps can help your employees, contractors, and supervisors understand their obligations and the repercussions of the decisions they make:
- Providing detailed termination policies in your employee handbook
- Documenting workplace infractions
- Maintaining detailed records of absences and regular performance reviews
- Uniformly enforcing workplace policies
Helping terminated workers take the next steps to secure employment can lessen the threat of a lawsuit. Offering to write recommendation letters or identifying successful job search strategies can build goodwill with laid-off employees and the public. Whether you operate within the private or public sector, it is critical to remain mindful of the impact that an individual or group termination can have on your business’s reputation.
Understand Your Options Before You Take Action. Talk To Us Today.
Berenzweig Leonard is located near the Nation’s Capital and skillfully advocates for employers and executives across the country. Email or call 703-760-0402 to connect with a seasoned employment and labor attorney at Berenzweig Leonard, and protect your workplace and business.