Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Are employers required to give sufficient notice of termination?

Employees get fired all the time and often for good reasons. It is not uncommon, though, for an individual to question the legality of his or her termination. This is particularly true for employees who are let go when the companies they work for are going out of business. Does Michigan have any laws governing how and when employers have to inform their employees of their terminations?

This is certainly a question employees in other states have asked when they have been let go unexpectedly and without warning. In fact, recently, a company that employed virtual assistants reportedly closed up shop overnight and fired all employees through an email. Employees say that there were no warnings or signs that the company, Zirtual, was in trouble. Now, 400 employees are left scrambling to find new jobs and trying to get information from their former employer about final wages, severance pay and benefits. Requests for this information have, according to the employees, gone unanswered.

What if this happened to employees in Michigan? Would they be able to seek legal recourse? Business which employ more than 100 people are supposed to give at least 60 days notice of a business closing, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Some smaller businesses may also be held to similar standards. All businesses are required by law to pay any unpaid wages; severance pay, on the other hand, is not required unless it is included in the terms of employment.

Termination of employment can be difficult for anyone to accept, especially if the circumstance behind one's firing is questionable. Employees in Michigan can seek legal guidance if they believe their terminations were in violation of employment laws or agreements. Depending on case findings, it may be possible to successfully achieve financial relief for any damages sustained as a result of losing one's job.

Source: businessinsider.com, "A startup dissolved overnight and laid off its 400 employees via email with no warning", Biz Carson, Aug. 10, 2015

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Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.
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