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Webinar Recap | Managing Change: Terminations, Seasonal Staffing, & USDOL's New Minimum Salary Standards

Wrapping up the month of May, this webinar features Adams Keegan’s Charles Rodriguez and Brandon Roland discussing best practices for managing terminations as well as for hiring seasonal employees and interns.

Missed the conversation on May 31? Click here to access the full webinar.

Boosting termination IQ
Boosting termination IQ starts with understanding common concepts that often cause confusion. Firstly, a probationary period is an initial phase, typically 60 to 90 days, where both employee and employer assess suitability. Despite its name, it doesn’t allow mistreatment of the employee or change their at-will employment status.

Another commonly confused term, at-will employment means either party can end the employment relationship for any lawful reason. However, terminations must avoid illegal reasons, such as discrimination against protected classes, which include characteristics like race, religion, and gender.

Employers have the right to terminate an employee if they have valid, well-documented reasons that focus on specific issues rather than vague terms. Employers should also consider risks such as compliance, cultural impact, and cost. Consistent and fair application of policies is crucial to mitigate these risks. On the other hand, voluntary resignation occurs when an employee decides to leave their job by choice. It is essential to distinguish between true voluntary resignations and constructive discharges.

Best practices for offboarding period
An effective offboarding period starts with the employee's resignation notice. Ensure the notice period is respected and that the employee continues to work during this time, unless otherwise arranged. If an employer decides to send the employee home early, they consider paying them for the notice period to maintain goodwill and encourage future notice from other employees. Offboarding should include clear communication, proper documentation, and a final exit interview to address any concerns. Treating employees with respect and allowing them to express their thoughts can minimize negative repercussions.

Requirement for separation notices by state
Separation notices are mandatory in some states when an employee leaves a job. These provide the reason for separation, such as voluntary resignation or termination. Requirements vary by state. For example, Georgia requires a specific separation notice, while Mississippi only requires a posted notice. Colorado sets an excellent example by instructing employers to provide a brief, one-sentence explanation. It is crucial to understand and comply with state-specific requirements to avoid legal complications and ensure a smooth offboarding process.

Seasonal and intern employee separation plans
Seasonal and intern employee separation plans require clear guidelines to manage expectations and ensure compliance. Seasonal employees, such as lifeguards or construction workers, have predetermined start and end dates. Although not usually eligible for benefits, they have similar protections as other employees. Interns, whether paid or unpaid, should have clear terms outlined in offer letters. Paid interns performing essential tasks must receive appropriate wages, whereas unpaid academic interns benefit primarily from the learning experience. Clear communication and specific terms in offer letters help avoid misunderstandings and legal complications at the end of the employment term.

Additionally, our experts continued to address questions concerning the U.S. DOL's new salary requirements and timelines, how to audit the potential impact, and how to effectively communicate changes. They also discussed what we can expect from the courts or Congress, and how to prepare to communicate changes.

Check out the entire recording and give yourself about one hour to become fully immersed in the conversation.



Adams Keegan

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