When it comes to employment-related litigation, human resource (HR) professionals are a business organization's first line of defense. Lawsuits by employees alleging wrongful termination, harassment or discrimination constitute a significant threat to a business. Although many employees are at-will meaning that they can be terminated at any time for any reason, exceptions exist which create the basis for wrongful termination claims. These exceptions also raise the business' risk to be sued for termination decisions. In this article, we briefly review the exceptions to employment-at-will which create the basis for wrongful termination claims. In their quest for documenting a "good cause" for terminations, HR professionals must navigate the implications of employment-at-will to avoid inadvertently exposing their company to litigation. We offer suggestions for helping HR practitioners reduce this exposure.
American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences
Parry, R.O., Gillespie, T.L., & Segrest, S.L. (2008). The best defense is a good offense : Using human resource management proactively to minimize the threat of litigation from wrongful termination cases. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 19(2), 108-123.
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