Atlantic Employers Counsel – Winter 2014

The Termination Meeting:

A time and a place for everything

The decision has been made, but the ship hasn’t yet sailed. Somebody has to deliver the bad news and as difficult as this might be, there are a couple of things employers will want to know about before going into the meeting. Here are some practical tips to reduce potential risk associated with the termination meeting.

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Tax Treatment: It’s all about

structure

When an employee is terminated, the question often arises about the tax treatment of amounts paid to the employee. Structuring can allow employers to provide different benefits to the employee without increasing the overall cost to the employer. Possible strategies include characterization and timing.

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References, Reasons and Releases

After termination, these three words beginning with the letter “R” can raise serious issues for both the former employer and the departed employee. This article addresses some of the issues involved with writing references, reasons and releases from a management perspective.

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Disability and Other Leaves of

Absence: Employee status at time

of termination

You’ve made the decision, but before you communicate it to the employee you receive a note from a doctor putting the employee off work for medical reasons. Or, the employee arrives at your door ecstatic because she’s pregnant and going on maternity leave. What happens when a leave of absence occurs before you say “so long” to the employee. Some general rules and tips from recent cases follow.

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Bonuses and Stock Options:

Contractual and otherwise

When assessing what type of termination package to offer an employee or what the employer’s liability for damages is, non–salary compensation can become an issue. Typically, this compensation may include stock options, stock grants and bonuses. If not resolved at termination (or shortly thereafter) a determination of “qualification” or “what it’s worth” can contribute to prolonged and protracted issues between parties. You can guess what that means. This article discusses what you need to know to provide a fair and reasonable termination package when it comes to non-salary compensation.

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Investigations, Documentation and

the Termination Letter

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s when it comes to workplace investigations and documentation. If you don’t, the matter may come back to bite you in a lawsuit. The following is a general overview of why a proper investigation and documentation of key items are so important.

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