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employment-lawyers
Top Employment Lawyers on How to Avoid a Wrongful Termination Suit

Firing employees consistently ranks as the worst duty an employer must perform. Wrongful termination lawsuits are the most commonly litigated category of employment claims and cost employers over $482 million in 2016 alone. These claims can arise when employers violate an employee’s civil rights through workplace harassment or discrimination, breach a contract with an employee, or retaliate against an employee for protected activities such as filing workers’ compensation or whistleblowing. Even rejected claims can generate huge legal fees, so following proper procedures and protecting workers’ dignity can save your company big money.

Following are some simple guidelines to follow when it’s time to say goodbye to an employee. This article does not constitute legal advice. Keep in mind that you should always consult a qualified employment attorney before making any termination decisions. In Chicago, we recommend the law firm of Roth Fioretti (check their avvo profile) for all employment law issues.

1. Make Sure It’s Legal

The first rule is also the most simple. Before taking the drastic action of terminating an employee, question the motives behind the prospective firing internally.

If a supervisor recommends termination, make sure he or she can articulate provable non-discriminatory reasons for the action. If the employee at issue has a history that involves any protected activity, such as filing an EEOC claim or seeking workers’ compensation, make sure there is no relation between the protected activity and the termination, and be prepared to discuss this with the employee. If the employee has a written contract, make sure your company complies with all prescribed procedures. If there is a company handbook, make sure all policies have been followed by everyone involved.

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

When hiring an employee, expectations should be explained. When firing an employee, it is important to explain why or how the employee failed to meet those expectations. This could be done in writing, but if so, make sure to follow proper procedures set out by human resources.

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If the employee has broken the rules, this should be articulated. If job performance is the issue, it should be explained calmly to the employee. If the termination is part of a company lay off or cut back, this should be explained to the employee as well.

3. Allow for Dignity

When choosing how or when to terminate someone, consider who could be watching and do everything possible to avoid embarrassing your employee. Asking him or her to stay a few minutes at the end of the day after coworkers have departed might be considered. If company property must be returned, consider how to facilitate the transfer better. If a company car is involved, get them a taxi.

4. Have A Witness

It is always best to have an unbiased witness to a termination. A representative from human resources should either deliver the news or at least be present for its delivery. If this is impossible, document the meeting with a visible audio recorder and tell the employee the meeting is being recorded.

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Terminating employees is painful and can be emotional for everyone involved. Giving clear communication and allowing for a graceful departure can help make the best of a bad situation and save your company a great deal of money in the process.

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Movers Discuss the Hidden Costs of Relocating Your Business

It is evident that relocating a business includes expenditures that extend beyond physically removing office furniture, file cabinets, and office equipment from one location to another building, zip code, or state. The logistics and expenses involved with office moving could make just about any business owner excited and conjointly apprehensive about relocating. However, a thoughtfully contrived budget can be the best way to better your chances of having a smooth transition of your business from one place to the next.

Money management of the direct costs and financial preparation for the hidden ones can help significantly in mitigating any potential blow to your business’ bottom line because of the move. The “hidden” costs come to the surface eventually and get referred to as being obscure because they are expenses easily unconsidered when initially planning a move.

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Eight Main Budget Costs and Considerations When Relocating

Direct Costs

1. Contact service providers, such as phone, the internet, and cable so you can determine the pricing for connection and disconnection fees, early termination costs, and so forth.

2. Once office movers have seen the items at your existing space which needs relocation, take bids from various moving companies to decide which one to hire. You should start obtaining bids as soon as you have gone through your property and decided on what of your business belongings will get sold, discarded, or donated and have completed an inventory of what is remaining that still needs to be relocated. Try using a site like cheapchicagomovers.net to simplify the process of gathering moving company bids.

3. How much will it cost for printing or publishing new media, whether it be print (i.e. business cards or banners) or digital?

4. Add up how much you will need to pay out for deposits, move-in and early lease termination fees, broker fees, and space reconfiguration costs.

Hidden Considerations

1. Insurance Coverage – Check with your provider to see if you need to purchase more insurance to protect valuable items, or additional coverage for potential damage, theft, or loss of property during the move.

2. Revenue Loss – Consider how the move will impact operations and your ability to service customers and maintain the core function of your business. Having a good contingency plan in place will minimize the hit on returns during the relocation process if downtime is unavoidable.

3. Productivity Loss – Calculate the billable business or sales you stand to lose throughout the move which gets replaced with employee hours used to plan, prepare, unpack, and set up the new business at its new location. Helen Dennis, co-founder of the firm relocation company, 300 Decisions, says it takes up to 1,000 staff hours for mid-size or small businesses to see a move completely through.

4. Miscellaneous – Be sure to put aside funds for incidental costs such as security, vending, or cleaning services, to name a few, which may be essential to get started at your new place.

The important thing to remember when preparing to relocate your business is that meticulously planning and budgeting is critical. You want to ensure that every little detail of the move is considered. The primary objective with a relocation budget is to uncover as many “hidden” costs as possible.

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What You Need to Know About SEO

Your website’s place in the search rankings is the most important factor that determines the amount of traffic to your site. Here are a few search engine optimization tips that will draw traffic to your website:

Organic Search Results

Study SEO Strategies

If you do enough research, you might not have to hire SEO professionals. Learning the basics of search engine optimization is easier than you might think. However, you have to work hard to stay up to date. Algorithms for search engines are constantly changing.

Keywords Are Important

It’s essential that you choose keywords that people are likely to type into the search engine. Also, you should always ensure that your website consists of 1-3% keyword density. If you exceed 3%, there is a good chance that your site will no longer appear in the search results. Choosing a variety of keywords rather than just one is important. However, it’s essential to consider the value of every keyword carefully. Always type the keyword you’re thinking about into search engines before you choose it. Searching will allow you to know against which websites you’ll be competing. Using long tail keywords is essential. Long tail keywords are a string of several words used as a keyword.

Develop A Backlink Strategy

While you should ensure that you have a large number of backlinks, it’s crucial always to check that links to your website come from quality sites. Thoroughly read all the content on a website where you would like to have a backlink. Backlinks from websites that aren’t reputable or appear to be spam are likely to hurt your rankings rather than helping them.

Be Aware Of Local SEO

If your business serves a particular geography, it’s essential that you implement local SEO strategies. To do this, you need to include the name of your city, region, or town in the keywords for your site. Also, you should always set up a Google Business profile.

Content Is Important

Websites with fresh content tend to be ranked more highly than ones that only keep the same content over long periods of time. However, the content must be high-quality material. Poorly organized or written content is likely to hurt your search rankings. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to produce quality content, it’s easy to hire a professional content writer (try Textbroker or Great Content). It’s also important that users of your website can easily navigate to the content that they want.

Use Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are short descriptions of the website’s content. To write a compelling meta description, it’s essential to use 150-160 characters and use language that draws in the reader.

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Reasons You Should Have a Business Mentor

As the head cheerleader of a start-up, it is important to note that most of the largest businesses began from the point of mentorship. Someone believed in the business proprietors. They were somehow motivated by an individual who believed in their area of specialization. Like the American business author Zig Ziglar said, any successful man […]

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