Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

Get Rid of At-Will Employment? Give Me a Break!
Posted on 9 Apr 2012 by Jon Hyman

On Donna Ballman's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home , she argues for a radical change to at-will employment. She believes that unemployment hearing officers should have the power to reinstate, with back pay, anyone fired without just cause... Read More

Employer Loyalty: Baseball Style
Posted on 11 Nov 2014 by John Holmquist

Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them. -- Harvey Mackay Imagine that you are an executive who... Read More

Barran Liebman Alert: The Oregon Supreme Court Isn't Really Attacking At Will Employment
Posted on 22 Mar 2013 by Barran Liebman LLP

On March 7, 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision in Cocchiara v. Lithia Motors, Inc. [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to subscribers ], and held that when a job applicant reasonably... Read More

Orange-Americans Unite: Stand Up For Yourselves!
Posted on 23 Mar 2012 by Donna Ballman

Did you hear the one about the 14 employees who were fired for wearing orange shirts ? If you didn't, you don't live in the UK or Ghana or anywhere in the U.S., because the story made the international news. I think the story hit a chord with... Read More

How Much Does It Cost to Defend an Employment Lawsuit?
Posted on 14 May 2013 by Jon Hyman

Last Friday I had the pleasure of appearing on Huffington Post Live, in a segment entitled, "You're Fired! No really." We discussed the current state of employment at-will, and whether American workers need greater protections from being... Read More

The Whistleblower and At Will Employment: Timing Is Not Everything
Posted on 30 Jan 2014 by John Holmquist

One of the cardinal rules for employers is the documentation of performance issues. Advise the employee of the issue, and document the conversation and what was discussed. A lack of documentation, although not advisable, is not necessarily fatal as was... Read More

The Story of Ozzie and Fidel: There is No Free Speech in Corporate America
Posted on 27 Apr 2012 by Donna Ballman

The Miami Marlins suspended new Manager Ozzie Guillen for saying: "I love Fidel Castro," and "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother-f***er is still... Read More

Wearin' of the Orange? You Are Fired!
Posted on 27 Mar 2012 by John Holmquist

Last Saturday was St. Patrick's Day, and many employees celebrated it on Friday by wearing green and getting together after work. A story reported that 14 employees of a Florida law firm were fired for wearing orange shirts. Traditionally, the... Read More

States With Pro-Employee Laws: No At-Will Employment Equals Fewer Employee Suits
Posted on 10 Sep 2014 by Donna Ballman

(Or, States That Don't Suck For Employees, Part II) I was doing some research for this series on pro-employee state laws and ran across a piece by that bastion of liberalism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce rating states either Good, Fair or Poor... Read More

Employed "At Will": What Does That Mean?
Posted on 27 Sep 2011 by John Gallagher

Employment At Will: The Most Commonly Misunderstood Principle in the Workplace Most Americans have a general understanding of the "employment at will" doctrine. They understand that it means that they are not guaranteed employment for... Read More

A Simple Solution To Unjust At-Will Laws
Posted on 6 Apr 2012 by Donna Ballman

Most employers can fire you for any reason or no reason at all. As I say in my upcoming book, that means they can fire you because they didn't like your shoes that day. Or, as it turns out, the color of your shirt . The law definitely needs... Read More

Personal time off and the at will employee: saved by the appeal
Posted on 29 Jun 2012 by John Holmquist

When an employer states in its paid time off policy that its at will employees are entitled to five days off immediately upon hire, does this grant become a vested benefit? This was the issue in MSX International v. Hurley , an unpublished decision of... Read More

Employment at Will in Michigan's Public Sector
Posted on 3 Jan 2014 by John Holmquist

The University of Michigan was sued for discrimination based on sexual preference by a law professor who was denied tenure. The claim for breach of breach of an implied contract was based in part on the university's policy statements concerning non... Read More

Still Causing Problems: Employee Handbooks and At-Will Employment
Posted on 19 Aug 2014 by John Holmquist

For many employers, employee handbooks are used to detail what is expected of employees without binding employers to follow any particular policy. It is the "have your cake and eat it" approach which is part of a larger strategy to maintain... Read More

"At Will" Employment vs. Right to Self-Defense
Posted on 22 Sep 2015 by Philip Miles

Today, in my employment law class, we cover the case of Weaver v. Harpster . The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a woman could not sue her employer for sex discrimination/harassment [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion:... Read More