It’s not easy being Market Basket. First you have a major corporate shake-up involving the controlling family who have been fighting for years. Then your workforce objects to the Board’s actions and tries to get the Board to reverse course. This dispute results in the effective shut down of many Market Basket stores. Then management decides to get tough and threatens to fire and replace employees who won’t return to work. They even organize a jobs fair. (A risky strategy and horrible PR move, in my opinion. If it fails, they have no next step.) Continue reading
On January 28, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire issued an opinion allowing a defamation case to proceed against an employer who said an employee was terminated for performing a “heinous act” or a “heinous crime.” Grivois v. Wentworth Douglas Hospital.
What You Need To Know. After terminating an employee, a company should provide other employees with minimal information concerning the reason for the termination. While telling employees that there were performance problems or that the employee was not “a good fit” is probably acceptable, – as long as the statements are true – employers should not provide greater detail or make statements that include personal information or cast the terminated employee in a bad light.
Grivois sued for defamation because a supervisor allegedly told people she was fired for “a heinous act” or “a heinous crime.” Continue reading
Here is a great example of how management’s poor planning (and stupidity) can really help an employee’s lawsuit against the company. The court decision discussed, (Hollingsworth v Sheriff’s Office of Winn Parish, was issued on October 3, 2013.
What You Need to Know. The key lesson from this case is that employers need to think through the reasons for a termination before taking action, provide terminated employees with accurate explanations for the termination, and make sure the companies actions remain consistent with that explanation even after the termination is complete. Do not lie to an employee about a termination because, as you will see below, the lie could come back to bite you in court. Continue reading