Employee Discipline and Terminations: Types of Employee Claims

Cornerstone risk management blog: types of employee claimsAwareness of the various types of employee claims will help strengthen your human resources strategy and prepare your company for any possible litigation.

Employees can make internal, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or Human Rights Campaign complaints, or file a lawsuit against the employer with a formal Complaint and Summons. As experts in human resources and risk management, Cornerstone Insurance Group wants to help your team gain the knowledge they need to be prepared.

Five Employee Claims Your Human Resources Department Should Know Of 

  1. Discrimination: According to the EEOC, nearly 100,000 discrimination charges are filed against employers annually. During the disciplinary or termination process, an employee from a protected class can allege that he or she is being treated worse than other employees, based on a reason relating to their protected class status than other employees. Protected classes are defined by federal, state and local governments and are based on factors including: race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, familial status, disability status, veteran status and genetic information. While some states have broadly defined protected classes, other states’ laws are very detailed, including protection for sexual orientations, marital status, and political views.
  2. Harassment: While discrimination claims are centered on mistreatment in official company actions, harassment claims revolve around interpersonal relationships in the workplace. These claims include verbal or physical harassment.
  3. Retaliation: Recent changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, especially regarding the Whistleblower provision, could lead to an increase in the number of employees who will claim they’ve been disciplined or terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing on the company.
  4. Wrongful Termination: Employees can file claims if they believe they were wrongly terminated for an illegal reason or for a reason that violates the company’s policy. Some examples include breach of contract and constructive discharge.
  5. Post-termination: Some employees file lawsuits after they’ve been terminated, claiming that the termination resulted in defamation, blacklisting or undue emotional distress.

This is the second in a series of blog posts on Employee Discipline and Terminations to help employers navigate the implications of employee discipline and terminations, including mitigating the risks of employee claims. Read the first article in the series, Company Policies and the Employee Handbook. Need more help understanding employee claims? Contact the human resources experts at Cornerstone Insurance Group today.

Topics: HR