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Bullivant Houser Bailey PC is a business and complex litigation law firm of more than 140 attorneys with six offices in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada. Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business singled out Bullivant as a "West Coast litigation powerhouse," due to our extensive courtroom experience and ability to achieve early, favorable, and cost-effective results on behalf of clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations.
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Discipline and Termination

Introduction

Disciplining employees or even ending employment can be a stressful time for all parties involved. Volumes of case law exist about whether such actions are either improper themselves or were conducted improperly. Issues relating to discrimination, harassment, trade secrets, wages, and letters of reference are among some of the most common issues that spawn post-employment litigation.

Employers can take various steps to minimize the risk of litigation in this realm by being aware of the various local, state and federal laws that apply and ensuring the employee is treated fairly in an adverse employment action. Protective steps include: having adequate supporting documentation for any adverse employment action against the employee; stating the reasons for termination accurately, ensuring that laws and company policies are complied with consistently between different employees; exploring alternatives to termination; and, providing proper notice to the employee.

When considering discipline, employers are better off to avoid “progressive discipline’ policies, which are inconsistent with the presumption of “at-will’ employment and unduly restrictive of an employer’s ability or need to discipline employees according to the severity of the conduct in question.

An employee’s employment relationship can be ended by way of:

  • Resignation
  • Agreement
  • Termination
  • Reductions In Force / Layoffs

Also, employers need to be mindful of:

  • Wrongful Discharge
  • Constructive Discharge

Details regarding employee’s termination or discipline should never be discussed with other employees.





 
 
 
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