On September 12, 2013, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) issued a decision finding that a company illegally retaliated against an employee who had recently complained of discrimination. The case, MCAD v. Saybolt, LP is discussed below.
What You Need To Know. Anytime you want to discipline or terminate an employee who has complained of discrimination or any violation of law, you must recognize that your action could be seen as illegal retaliation. Before taking any action, you should review the facts and make sure your decision to terminate or discipline the employee hasn’t been influenced, at all, by the employee’s recent complaints. Further, since your decision could easily been seen as retaliation, you should consider slowing down your process and taking less drastic steps to help improve a problem employee. Only after your efforts to help the employee have failed should you move forward and terminate someone based upon performance if the person has recently filed a complaint.
This ruling by the MCAD discusses a classic case where a company has trouble managing an employee who has complained that a manager discriminated against the employee. Continue reading →
On October 9, 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling discussing employee rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The case, McArdle v Town of Dracut, is discussed below.
What You Need To Know. Always verify an employee’s eligibility for FMLA before granting leave but make sure you don’t retaliate against an employee who request leave or inquires about leave even if the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave. 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 →