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Employers: know what defenses to raise when employees sue

When Michigan residents leave each other on bad terms, hard feelings can linger on for quite some time afterwards. In the employment context, these hard feelings can have real world consequences for employers if their former employees file lawsuits against them.

This blog recently discussed some of the types of legal claims that can be alleged against employers by their former employees. Employees under contract, for instance, may allege a claim of wrongful termination in breach of the contract. At-will employees, on the other hand, may advance claims of discrimination.

The particular claim alleged is important, because different types of claims may give rise to different defenses that can be asserted by the employer. For example, an employer may have contract-related defenses to a breach of contract claim, such as where an employee breached the contract himself or herself by engaging in certain conduct on the job. For discrimination claims, the employer may have legitimate non-discriminatory reasons supporting the termination, such as absenteeism, poor job performance or other circumstances that were based on the employee's failure to do the job properly.

Ultimately, no matter what particular claim is at issue, employers need to know how to defend themselves when former employees file suit. Legal claims can have dramatic consequences if they are not handled properly, including an award of damages entered against the employer or even consequences with other employees who still work for the employer.

Our firm has significant experience in defending our clients against different kinds of employment-related claims. We have investigated many situations and determined what legal defenses may be effective based on the facts and circumstances involved. For more information on our firm's services, please visit our employment law webpage.

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