Former employees at Twitter have filed a class action suit against the social media company after they were suddenly laid off in large numbers. These layoffs occurred after the company was purchased in a leveraged buyout by Elon Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who began the firings as part of his overhaul of the company. In so doing, he may have violated federal and state labor laws, which protect against mass layoffs such as these from being performed without adequate notice.
In an at-will employment relationship, employers have broad authority to fire employees, for a wide range of reasons. However, not every rationale for firing people is legal, and employers can face potential ramifications if they fire an employee for a legally prohibited reason. Here are five of the most common reasons that employees are illegally fired by their employers:
While some people are fired from their jobs without any warning, most people can at least see the signs in advance. Even if the prospect of losing your job can be daunting, you can use it as an opportunity to negotiate your firing, and to minimize the harm that getting fired will do to you and your family. Here are five tips to help you if you are facing the prospect of getting fired: Continue reading “Five Tips to Prepare for Your Firing”
Labor organizing is an important, legally protected practice that is critical for helping workers to enforce their rights. Unfortunately, employers are often loath to allow employees to freely organize, and may take extreme (and potentially illegal) steps to prevent employees from unionizing. But what should you do if you get fired for organizing a labor union at your workplace?
In his new book Fired!: Protect Your Rights & Fight Back if You‘re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit, New York City attorney Steven Mitchell Sack offers some important advice if you are considering resigning from a job. “Never quit; make the company fire you,” says Sack. This is because you may put yourself in a much worse position,legally speaking, if you voluntarily resign instead of being fired. Here are five reasons why it may be better to be terminated by your employer rather than quit:
Continue reading “Five Reasons Why It is Better to Be Fired Than Quit”
A federal court has ruled that people who work from home can sue their employer under the WARN Act for failure to notify them of a mass layoff. This ruling, made by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, is a potential advance for remote employees who suddenly find themselves laid off by employers. For employers, however, it is a warning sign that moving employees to a remote work schedule does not free them from their legal obligations to those employees.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just issued guidance, clarifying that employees can seek a legal remedy in the event they suffer retaliation for reporting COVID-19 related violations. This means that anyone who suffers employment discrimination for reporting employers that violate COVID-19 labor protections can file a complaint with the EEOC or pursue litigation in court, as appropriate. This guidance has upset some employers, who fear a wave of lawsuits for alleged COVID-19 retaliation.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects individuals engaged in “protected concerted activity,” allowing them to legally fight for increased pay, better benefits, and improved working conditions. This concerted activity is essential for labor organizing, and thus these protections are a cornerstone of labor law. Here are five common examples of protected concerted activity, as defined by the NLRA: Continue reading “Four Types of Concerted Activity Protected Under the NLRA”
Anti-discrimination laws, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act, prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees due to reasons such as race, gender, color, creed, national origin, and disability status. What many people do not know, however, is that these protections also extend to people who are retaliated against for reporting discrimination. But what is retaliation in the context of discrimination law, and why is it protected against? Continue reading “What is Retaliation in Discrimination Law?”
In a shocking twist that may be indicative of future developments, the Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the use of so-called “direct observation” drug tests by employers. This test is, in effect, a standard urine test used to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s system, except the employees are put under “direct observation” to make sure they did not swap out someone else’s urine. Employee rights advocates are outraged at the decision, which effectively makes it legal to watch an employee urinate when giving a sample for a drug test. Continue reading “Ohio Supreme Court Upholds “Direct Observation” Drug Test”