Thursday, 22 February 2007 17:00

Termination Checks

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What is the timeline an employer has to give a terminated employee their last check?

When an employee has been discharged for any reason, According to the Colorado Wage Act, it is required that a last check for a terminated employee be issued to the employee for any wages due immediately, but that timeline can vary depending on the payroll/accounting department of the employer. Because StaffScapes is an offsite payroll company, StaffScapes has 24 hours to issue a check for any discharged employee. However, if the payroll department is onsite where the employee is discharged from, a last check is due immediately. If you have any questions about termination checks, terminations, or other tips on how to comply with employment law, please contact a StaffScapes representative at (303)466-7864.

StaffScapes review of the devastating labor initiatives on the November Ballot.

Initiative #76 would eliminate “at will” employment in Colorado, prohibiting employers from firing or suspending full-time employees except for reasons defined in the amendment as “just cause”.  The term “just cause” includes: incompetence; substandard performance; neglect of job duties; repeated violations of an employer’s written policies and procedures; gross insubordination; employer bankruptcy; and documented adverse economic circumstances. This initiative would allow the terminated employee to sue the employer, challenging the firing or suspension. The court may order the employee to be reinstated and awarded back wages, damages and legal fees.

Listed below is the potential impact of initiative #76:

Ø      Current state and federal laws already limit at-will employment and protect employees from being terminated for reasons for discriminatory reasons such as race, sex, religion and age.

Ø      Imposing constitutional restrictions on businesses will increase administrative and litigation costs, hurting our local businesses and economy

Ø      Initiative 76 will prevent businesses from making basic financial decisions such as reorganization, automating operations and reducing unnecessary employment

Ø      Initiative 76 requires “binding arbitration” making the decision final without ability to appeal

Ø      New business may be reluctant to relocate to Colorado or may force existing businesses to move outside of Colorado

Ø      The estimate of fiscal impact shows an increase of government spending from this initiative of $1.3 million based on roughly 3,750 lawsuits being brought (which this writer believes is underestimated)

Should a business be forced to continue employing someone who has a major personality conflict and brings down the motivation and enjoyment of the entire organization? Do you want to be forced to continue to work with a co-worker such as this? Will you be comfortable working next to this disgruntled co-worker after reinstatement? How would you feel if your employer went out of business due to frivolous lawsuits from this initiative?

If the organized labor initiatives are successfully passed this November, our state’s economic growth will be dramatically stunted for years to come. Please check future editions of our blog to view the other initiatives that can have a devastating impact to Colorado.

Sources: Tomlinson & Associates; Economic Development Council of Colorado

Monday, 26 January 2009 17:00

Increase in Wrongful Termination Claims

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 During these hard economic times, layoffs are causing an upswing in EEOC claims.

A recent article written by Jeff Thomas in the Boulder County Business Report has attorneys and local EEOC employees stating that wrongful termination claims will increase during these slow economic times. During this down economic time, laid off employees are having a harder time finding a replacement job.  As time drags on with out employment, the ex-employee will likely become angry and focus on the lay off. Employers need to make sure that they are abiding by fair employment practices during lay offs or they will have employment attorneys and the EEOC knocking on their doors. Lay offs should be handled very carefully and employers should make sure they have good documentation to back up their decision. Both, EEOC representatives and attorneys, that are quoted in this article state that the number of disputes are rising. 

Employers need to get assistance through either their employment attorneys or their HR representatives.  It is too easy for an employer to pick the wrong employee to lay off, only to have that employee come back with a wrongful termination or discrimination claim. These type issues are expertly handled through the use of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) such as StaffScapes. PEOs act as an outsourced HR department and give expert advise on legal employment matters such as lay offs.