Consultant’s Corner: Employer Protection Considerations

Employer Protections Considerations header

Q: What do I need to do to protect myself from any wrongful termination claims or unemployment claims against my company?

From a general business perspective, the basic ways to protect a business and owner (and management staff) from employee claims and other labor law issues are identification of the applicable federal and state laws, effective recruiting procedures, written company personnel policies, consistent application and enforcement of employment policies and practices, and utilization of legal resources as necessary.

Wrongful termination meaning

Wrongful termination refers to the violation of government laws, public policy, employment contracts, company policies, or other legal employment principles. The following legal information explains:

“There is no Federal “wrongful termination law” per se. Rather there are a variety of Federal laws that, if violated by employers when discharging employees, might constitute wrongful termination. Collectively, such laws are generally called wrongful termination laws or wrongful discharge laws.

It might also constitute wrongful termination if employers violated constitutional provisions, state laws or public policy when discharging employees. The same goes if employers breached legal principles or concepts, or contracts related to employment…..”:

Also, the following legal information discusses these potential violation considerations for wrongful terminations:

  1. Written Promises
  2. Implied Promises
  3. Breaches of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
  4. Violations of Public Policy
  5. Discrimination
  6. Retaliation
  7. Fraud
  8. Defamation
  9. Whistle-Blowing Violations:

Employer protection from wrongful termination claims

From a general business perspective, there are proactive measures to protect employers from wrongful termination claims; however, the proper legal defense in an actual wrongful termination claim or legal action (factual or frivolous) would have to be determined with the assistance of your business lawyer. You can review the measures to protect against wrongful terminations through legal and labor industry information like the following, which includes these common tools:

  1. Employer’s clear understanding of applicable laws and legal practices
  2. Employee job descriptions
  3. Employment contracts where applicable
  4. Written company policies and procedures (handbook)
  5. Employee training
  6. Management training
  7. Employee performance appraisals
  8. Progressive employee discipline
  9. Proper grounds for dismissal
  10. Employee outplacement service
  11. Employer insurance:

Employer protection resources

The following are example tools, resources and considerations to help you address your wrongful termination protection concerns:

1. Job descriptions:

2. Employment applications:

3. Written company policies and procedures:

4. Performance appraisal forms:

5. Progressive discipline:

6. Employee terminations:

7. Employee termination contract:

8. Employment practices liability insurance:

Unemployment claim considerations

Unemployment claim eligibility and benefits are defined by state regulations so employers do not have the same legal risks and concerns as with wrongful terminations and other labor violations. Generally speaking, unemployment eligibility is very broad whether an employee is terminated or quits, but some employees do file unemployment claims when they are not eligible, for example, due to misconduct or quitting for no good reason. Whenever you feel an employee is ineligible for unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal the claim under the state guidelines.

Bill Wortman

Bill Wortman

Bill Wortman is the Chief Business Consultant for, with over 40 years of business experience. In addition to 12 years consulting small business owners, Bill’s professional career includes a big-eight CPA accounting firm, national consumer finance, big-three automotive manufacturing, Arby’s fast food, marketing, and other industries. He’s held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly held (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he’s been an owner of private ventures involving residential real estate development and a General Motors new car dealership.