Bright Idea Newsletter – June 2011

Bright Idea Newsletter – June 2011

Free Compliance Posters to Download

These posters will cover employers who are NOT federal contractor. More posters are required for federal contractors.

Wage & Hour Poster –

OSHA Poster –

EEO Poster – English & Spanish (both are required) –

Polygraph Poster –

Military Leave/USERRA Poster –

FMLA Poster (only for employers with 50+ employees) –

H2A Poster –

Florida Discrimination Poster –×17.pdf

Workers Comp Poster –

2011 Florida Minimum Wage Poster –


At Will – Management’s Most Dangerous Myth

Can you fire anyone for any reason or no reason? In most states, absent a contract to the contrary, most employees are “at will.” So yes, legally you can exercise that power, but should your? It’s never the smart thing to do.

To get your managers to understand the dangers of at-will firings, make sure they think ahead a few steps and imagine themselves talking to an investigator or a jury.

“Why did you fire John?” “No reason.”

Juries will assume that business people behave rationally, and they aren’t going to believe that someone was fired for no reason.

“I don’t like yellow sweaters.”

This also applies to frivolous reasons. Technically you can fire at-will employees for any reason, but again, the jury or investigator isn’t going to buy it. They will look for the real reason. What are the possibilities? Only one – Whatever reason the employee has advanced.

Employees don’t like to be fired. If the company says it’s for no reason, the employee won’t believe it either. They’ll look for a reason and unfortunately, most of the reasons they find are illegal.

The person is a member of a protected class –

You fired me because of my race.

You fired me because of my religion.

You fired me because of my national origin.

You fired me because of my gender.

You fired me because I’m pregnant.

Or the person has taken a protected action –

You fired me because I made a safety complaint.

You fired me because I complained to EEOC.

You fired me because I am trying to organize a union.

Or the person has refused advances –

You fired me because I wouldn’t go out with you.

You fired me because I broke up with you.

The jury has a fairly easy choice in any of these cases – Either they accept that the manager fired the person for no reason or a silly reason or they accept the reason advanced by the employee. The employee’s reason is going to seem more likely.

(HR Daily Advisor)


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