[SOLVED] Employment-At-Will and Termination

[SOLVED] Employment-At-Will and Termination

FMLA, Employment-At-Will, and Termination
OVERVIEW
In Week 5, we will discuss in detail Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the specifics of the federal FMLA
eligibility requirements relative to unpaid leave, a guaranteed job, and taking care of a family. While the
Family and Medical Leave Act is a step forward, the United States still lags behind most other developed
countries in providing paid leave for new parents.
Week 5 will also focus upon the doctrine of employment at will. Employees that have either been fired or laid
off consider what, if any, legal claims they have against their employer. Many fired employees don’t: Because
employees are generally presumed to work “at will,” they can quit at any time, and they can be fired at any time,
for any reason that isn’t illegal. So, for example, an employee who is fired for poor performance, attendance
problems, or misconduct — or even for just being a poor fit or “not working out” — generally won’t have any
recourse against their employers. This doesn’t mean that every firing is legal, however. Even at-will employees
can’t be fired for discriminatory reasons, in retaliation for reporting harassment or other wrongdoing, or because
they exercised a legal right, for example. Because of the fluid and constantly evolving business environment,
this week also takes a look at some of the legal challenges organizations may encounter when they consider
layoffs or downsizing, and wrongful termination suits.
LEARNING RESOURCES:
1. Family and Medical Leave Act – US Department of Labor
A great resource for exploring questions concerning FMLA; how is the law applied and what are the common
questions that arise?
Link:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla
2. FMLA Applicable Laws and Regulations
This resource will provide updated rules and regulations.
Link:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/laws-and-regulations
3. Leave Policies in the Workplace FAQ
This link answers one of the most asked questions about paid sick leave and paid time off.
Link:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/leave-policies-workplace-faq-29088.html
4. Sample Layoff Termination Letter
In drafting a layoff or termination letter, both the tone and content of the letter are vitally important
Link:
http://humanresources.about.com/od/layoffs-downsizing-strategies/qt/Sample-Layoff-TerminationLetter.htm
5. What is Wrongful Termination?
Employment at will and Wrongful termination can take several different forms. This link helps to better define
the term.
Link:
http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/termination-layoffs/when-termination-is-wrongful.htm
Week 5 Discussion
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIwIf7rFEls


Discussion Topic #1 — FMLA
Joe has had a difficult life. His parents separated when he was an infant. His mother began drinking heavily to
deal with her depression and became alcoholic. Social Services intervened to remove Joe from his mother’s
care. Joe’s grandmother took Joe in and raised him from infancy.
Joe is now employed for your company which is situated in California.
His grandmother needs a serious operation on her eyes and will require constant monitoring and help 24 hours a
day 7 days a week. Joe asks for 6 weeks unpaid leave from his important job to provide care for his
grandmother.
Your boss comes to you – “Are we legally obligated to grant Joe unpaid leave and guarantee him his job?”
Draft a one-page memo to your boss:
1. What are the Federal FMLA eligibility requirements relative to Joe being able to take unpaid leave and
have a guaranteed job, to take care of his grandmother?
2. What is the Calif FMLA eligibility requirements relative to Joe being able to take unpaid leave and have
a guaranteed job, to take care of his grandmother? Only address differences between Calif FMLA and
Fed FMLA, if any, as to the question of Joe being able to leave to take care of his grandmother?
Use a minimum of two HR/legal references to support your conclusions.
Here are two links for your reference.
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/leave-policies-workplace-faq-29088.html
http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-family-and-medical-leave-laws.aspx


Discussion Topic #2 — Employee Termination
Situation – As the HR Director, a supervisor Tommy has asked you to provide guidance on an employee that
they want to terminate.
Write a memo to the supervisor Tommy to address the following:
1. As the HR professional, discuss the concepts that employees serve “at will,” and can be fired at any
time, for any reason that isn’t illegal.
2. The supervisor has indicated there is a situation of poor performance, some attendance problems, and
that the employee is just “not working out.” However, the supervisor is concerned that the employee
might retaliate by claiming discrimination, since the employee is part of a protected class.
3. What documentation should the supervisor have?
4. What else would you advise the supervisor to be aware of?
Use a minimum of two HR/legal references to support your conclusions.
Here are two references for you to consider:
http://gosmallbiz.com/progressive-discipline-steps-to-take-before-termination/
http://www.employmentlawfirms.com/termination-layoffs/when-termination-is-wrongful.htm 

Employment-At-Will and Termination Employment-At-Will and Termination


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