If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . . . What Not To Say To Staff After Terminating An Employee

EmCo Consulting LLC

On January 28, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire issued an opinion allowing a defamation case to proceed against an employer who said an employee was terminated for performing a “heinous act” or a “heinous crime.”  Grivois v. Wentworth Douglas Hospital.

What You Need To Know.  After terminating an employee, a company should provide other employees with minimal information concerning the reason for the termination.  While telling employees that there were performance problems or that the employee was not “a good fit” is probably acceptable, – as long as the statements are true – employers should not provide greater detail or make statements that include personal information or cast the terminated employee in a bad light.

Grivois sued for defamation because a supervisor allegedly told people she was fired for “a heinous act” or “a heinous crime.”  The company first tried to…

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