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Can You Fire an Employee who Refuses to Participate in an Internal Investigation? The 2nd Circuit Says Yes.

When an employee is accused of misconduct, particularly when those allegations are criminal in nature, conducting an internal investigation is a best practice. But what is an organization to do when the alleged offender refuses to show up for an interview? May it go so far as to fire the employee, even if that means the employee loses out on benefits or other compensation? A recent case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals says it can.

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Courts and Churches—Interfering in Some Ways But Not Others

Not everything a church does to a pastor is outside the reach of the court. That is a recent lesson church officials learned in a case out of Ohio federal court dealing with the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. Also known as the church autonomy doctrine, this is the principle that civil courts will stay out of the doctrinal and important decisions a church makes, such as the decision to fire a pastor or remove a parishioner from membership. This case, Barrow v. Living Word Church, et al.,1 is an interesting twist on the doctrine, and serves as a word of caution for churches.

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Part 6: Legal Problems with Pre-Employment Evaluations

There has been a lot of back and forth about how the mission must take care during prefield screening not to run afoul of the ADA. I agree. Under the ADA, before you can give an applicant a “medical examination,” which includes most psychological screenings, you have to first consider all the non-medical information and hand out a conditional offer.

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Part 5: Comments on Testing by Dr. R.P. Ascano

Many examining psychologists are not aware of the existence of 29 CFR § 1630.13, titled “Prohibited medical examinations and inquiries.”  Even more importantly, section 1630.10, “Qualification standards, tests, and other selection criteria,” discusses the types of tests that can be used. 

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Part 7: Open Communication and Impartiality in Investigations

This is quite helpful Theresa. I think the biggest issue here, is, wait for it, …communication! Part of me still struggles with wondering if it is possible to investigate a complaint by a party, gather information through an investigation through all parties, and end up by determining that the complaining party is more the problem than anyone else. 

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