By Kelly O. Scott, Esq., Head of Employment Law Department
We have all heard the stories of the mother bear that attacks when humans wander too close to her cubs. Do humans behave any differently? According to Business Management Daily, nine out of ten employees who are terminated after requesting time off to care for family members will file a lawsuit. Regardless of the nature of the claim that is filed, this result is not surprising; employees terminated under these circumstances tend to feel outraged and will lash out at the employer in any way possible, even if the employer has legitimate business reasons for the termination which are unrelated to the requested leave.
Employers need to consider all of their options before deciding to terminate an individual who has recently sought leave to care for an ill or disabled family member. Have all of the viable alternatives to termination been thoroughly examined? Is the termination essential at that time or can it be postponed pending additional information or further cost-cutting? Is it possible that circumstances will change following the leave of absence? Considering all of the possibilities before taking actions which will likely provoke the innate behavior to protect loved ones will ensure that an employer has reduced the chances of being mauled.
This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2013. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.