I blame so many people for what happened and our current state of affairs:
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Sunday, December 6, 2020
In a good year, many employees are terminated at the end of the year. However, because of COVID, there is a high probability that the termination numbers will be much higher than normal. If you receive your pink slip and agreement, you may want to consider not signing it right away.
First, if you are one of a few employees who were selected for termination, ask why you were let go. Don't be surprised if HR refuses to disclose the reason. Employees at will can be fired for any reason. Therefore, disclosing the justification is not in the best interest of the employer. It may invite a lawsuit.
Second, talk to your co-workers to see who else was terminated. They may know about the selection process. If the termination group consists of mostly women, blacks, or whites a further review may be required to determine if the employer violated nondiscrimination laws.
Third, if HR or your supervisor thrusts a termination agreement in your face, you may want to wait to sign it. Signing anything without reading and understanding the document's terms may lead to regrets later. When you review the agreement, does it require you to waive suit against the employee in exchange for extra money? Large companies tend to wave severance pay in front of employees to guarantee a smooth transition away from the company. Review that document carefully, preferably with a lawyer. If you are a long term employee, you might consider negotiating for a slightly higher severance package.
Also, watch for noncompete clauses. Although the courts have limited these clauses, it's better to nip it at the bud when they arise. Also, make sure a neutral reference provision is in the agreement.
I've negotiated severance packages for employees at all levels. At this point, because COVID has culled the ranks of front line workers, I handle severance packages for management positions only. However, I will review front line severance letters to explain what is going on and how to handle unfavorable provisions.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
The CARES Act passed by Congress and signed on March 27, 2020, placed a moratorium on evictions for certain landlords and renters. This protection ended July 25, 2020. Therefore, a detailed analysis of this expired Act is not necessary.
Approximately 1-1/2 months after the expiration of the CARES Act, the Center for Disease Controlled stepped into the landlord-tenant relationship and issued a temporary halt to certain residential evictions. This is a broader moratorium than the CARES Act because it covers landlords regardless of whether they have a federal loan or accept VA or Section 8 tenants. Unlike the CARES Act, this moratorium allows the landlord to charge fees, penalities, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment. The CDC states, it issued its moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Therefore, it covers residential tenants until December 31, 2020.
The tenants must sign a declaration that states the following:
(1) The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
(2) The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
(3) the individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary  out-of-pocket medical expenses;
(4) the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
(5) eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.
If you are in Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Clayton or Fulton Counties, and you are a tenant or small landlord, contact me with any questions by e-mail at email@example.com