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How to Terminate an Employee

Employment

How to Terminate an Employee


By DeAnn Flores Chase September 21, 2018    Category: Employment

How to Terminate an Employee

In an at-will employment state like California, you can, in theory, fire anyone at any time. However, state and federal legislation have particular exceptions to prohibit employers from firing someone for any reason. For instance, you cannot fire someone for refusing to do something illegal, or for a discriminatory reason (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and more). If you fire someone for the wrong reason, you can face a wrongful termination lawsuit. Setting Clear Policies on Termination  Your employee handbook is a great place to identify your company policies on discipline and termination. Outline these policies in your handbook,... READ MORE

Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees. As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their... READ MORE

Hiring in the Age of Social Media

It’s easier than ever to type a potential hire’s name into Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram and instantly find a wealth of information about them- especially if they haven’t recently updated their privacy settings. Conversely, social media can be a wonderful source of information on a potential hire and, in some cases, especially in sales and marketing, is a primary driver in considering the right person for a position. Recruiting Using Social Media Many employers now use social media as a tool for recruiting candidates through publishing job openings, advertising the company culture, and scouting for individuals who would fit the... READ MORE

Using Unpaid Interns This Summer

Recently, the U.S. Labor Department issued new guidelines for those companies who elect to hire college or graduate students as interns clarifying what employers should and should not do while employing unpaid interns. Many companies rely on student interns to handle a variety of tasks from conducting research and crafting social media strategies. Interns can provide an invaluable resource to companies by bringing in new ideas and helping companies navigate changing cultural and social expectations. These guidelines were issued in light of recent court cases, which made companies concerned that hiring an intern in almost any position would result in... READ MORE

Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace

The U.S. has a number of anti-discrimination and harassment laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against employees based on a number of factors including age, disability, race, sex, pregnancy, and citizenship. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: Amended in 1991 to allow victims to recover damages, sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.” This includes when a person in authority is demanding sexual favors from a subordinate and when sexual comments or jokes create a hostile... READ MORE

California Proposes New Law Aimed at Closing Gender Pay Gap

Across the country, the gender pay gap debate wages and California, despite our tough fair pay laws, is no exception to this rule. Recently, two new laws, one which passed and one which didn’t, aimed to help close and better document this pay gap. According to the census bureau, the average working woman is earning only 86 cents per dollar earned by a man. While stride are being taken to close this gender pay gap, we’re clearly not there yet. The first law, AB 168, bars a prospective employer from asking about previous salary. The goal is to prevent historic... READ MORE

Crafting Effective Non-Compete Agreements

One increasingly common portion of employment agreements is a non-compete agreement, designed to keep an employee from leaving one business and immediately competing with their prior employer. There has been some debate in the courts about the extent to which these non-compete clauses are enforceable and there are some good rules of thumb for businesses looking to use non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable in the state of California. To be valid, a non-compete agreement must be given in exchange for some form of consideration, meaning that the employee receives something of value, such as a job, some company... READ MORE

Businesses May Employ Speech Limitations in the Workplace

You’re probably familiar with the First Amendment and its requirement that Congress not limit or abridge “the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It surprises many people to learn, then that the First Amendment's protections regarding freedom of speech don't apply to a private company’s workplace. The amendment very specifically prevents the government from making any speech rules that restrict speech, but does not restrict companies or individuals from limiting speech. There are employment laws in place that restrict a company from limiting certain forms of employee speech, such as discussion around wages, hours, and working conditions. However, restricting... READ MORE

The Sprouts Case: Employers And Phishing Scam Awareness

In 2016, employers face many risks and challenges in keeping employee information private and secure. As business owners are a particularly lucrative target, dealing with phishing attacks and maintaining absolute privacy are current daily challenges faced by employers. Employers must be constantly vigilant and aware of this type of fraud, especially since scammers and hackers use email, text messages, phone calls, and social media to steal data. In April of this year, former employees of Sprouts initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of California against Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. ("Sprouts"). Because of a... READ MORE

What Is Hip? What Employers Must Know About California’s Heat Illness Prevention (“HIP”) Regulation

The California Occupational Safety and Health Division issued a “High Heat Advisory,” warning employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness as temperatures went over 100 degrees in many areas of California. This should remind employers about the requirements of California’s Heat Illness Prevention (“HIP”) regulation, adopted in 2015. HIP sets specific requirements for potable water, shade, cool-down periods, high-heat procedures, emergency preparedness, and acclimatization, training, and plans for heat illness prevention. Pursuant to HIP, employers must Provide free water that is "fresh, pure, suitably cool" so that each employee may drink at least one (1) quart per hour.... READ MORE