Is It True I Can’t Be Sued?
Question: I was told that if you employee 15 or less employees, that you cannot be sued for wrong termination. Is that true?
Answer: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no, the size of your employee base has nothing to do whether or not you can get sued for wrongful termination. Typically, your employee count only affects things like workers’ compensation rates, insurance, and other like benefits. You can always get sued (but whether or not the suit is successful is an entirely different matter.)
The key here, of course, is to document, document, document. Just because ole Joe has been with the company for fifteen years does not mean that if he is messing up, it must be brought to his attention and written up in his personnel file. If you have sufficient record of personnel problems in the file, than the likelihood of a successful wrongful termination lawsuit being brought in an employee-at-will state is slim to none. Of course, this never precludes the fact that a lawsuit may be filed in the first place.
This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted In: Legal
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