Category: At Will Employment

Are We at a “Tipping” Point for Wrongful Discharge Claims in Minnesota?

Are We at a “Tipping” Point for Wrongful Discharge Claims in Minnesota?

A bartender is told by his employer, in violation of state law, that he must share tips with other employees. He refuses to comply and is fired. The state law in question says he can sue for being required to share tips, but doesn’t say anything about suing because he was fired. Does the law effectively provide a “wrongful discharge”...

“Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”:  How to get yourself fired for a Facebook post

“Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”: How to get yourself fired for a Facebook post

Social media has created a minefield of concerns for both employees and employers. The news is full of stories of employees documenting their questionable off-duty conduct on social media, or posting comments containing racist or derogatory remarks. Often, the employer—or sometimes, the rest of the online community—will demand that the employee be fired. In such a scenario many employers may...

For Any Lawful Reason:  Firing an at-will employee under dubious circumstances need not lead to liability if the reason for the firing was not illegal

For Any Lawful Reason: Firing an at-will employee under dubious circumstances need not lead to liability if the reason for the firing was not illegal

A recent decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the distinction between firing an employee for personal or politically expedient reasons (which may be entirely legal) and firing an employee because of his or her protected status or for exercising protected rights (which is typically illegal). The decisive question answered in this case was can an employer terminate...

Quirky Question #212, Montana Non-Competes

Quirky Question #212, Montana Non-Competes

Question: We are an accounting firm and recently fired an employee at will.  We have always understood that Montana law disfavors non-competition agreements, therefore, our employment agreement provides that if the accountant provides services to our clients within six months of leaving, he will pay us the profits from such an engagement which are stipulated to be 75% of gross...

Closely Held Companies and Lifetime Employment, Quirky Question # 143

Closely Held Companies and Lifetime Employment, Quirky Question # 143

Quirky Question # 143: I read with interest your analysis of QQ # 140, dealing with closely held corporations.  We are in a similar situation, though we have the sticky additional issue you referenced of the matter involving a family member.  This person claims she is entitled to “lifetime” employment.  Given that she’s only in her late 40s, that’s a...

Privately Held Corporations, Quirky Question # 140

Privately Held Corporations, Quirky Question # 140

Quirky Question # 140: We have a small closely held company. Our owners are family members and a few close friends. Happily, our company has been increasingly successful. Unhappily, one of our executives does not seem capable of growing with the company. We have made a difficult decision to get rid of this at will employee. When we advised him...

At Will Employment, Quirky Question # 114

At Will Employment, Quirky Question # 114

Quirky Question # 114: We are a national company with operations in virtually every state.  We stress to our employees that they are employed “at will” giving them the right to resign at any time for any reason, and preserving our right to terminate their employment at any time, for any reason not prohibited by law. Recently, an employee in...