The Legal Corner - John Hagan, Hagan Law Group
Most of our employee handbooks contain some iteration of the following: "Employee may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination."
I suggest you change that to "immediate termination." Here's why . . .
Plaintiff’s attorneys who represent employees argue that their clients were denied progressive discipline because of discrimination. Even though your handbook clearly states that your company may push aside progressive discipline and go directly to termination, it still does not say "immediate termination." That absence of "immediate" provides a sliver of hope for that plaintiff's attorney to maintain his or her argument.
I am not saying that "immediate termination" language will prevail in every instance. But I will tell you that it makes my job defending your company a lot easier if you have that in your handbook.
With the new year just around the corner, many of you are updating your employee handbooks. I suggest that if you are too, consider this addition.
John P. Hagan
Hagan Law Group LLC
1333 W. McDermott, Suite 200
Allen, Texas 75013
469-208-5366 – fax