Under employment law, the terms “hiring", "retention", and "firing” refer to the various stages at which employees interact with their employers. These are generally considered the most critical phases of employment in which the most serious legal issues can arise. These phases can be defined as such:
- Hiring: The process of recruiting, interviewing, and offer/acceptance of employment with the company.
- Retention: Efforts at keeping the worker employed with the company. This can include the issuing of benefits, wage increases, bonuses, and promotions.
- Firing: Also called termination, this is the process by which an employee is terminated or released from the company.
Employers are required to follow a vast array of laws during the hiring, retention, and firing phases. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences for the employer.
One of the most common employment law disputes in general is discrimination. With the potential to happen at any stage of employment, discrimination occurs when one employee or group of employees is treated differently from similarly situated employees based on their race, sex, age, nationality, religion, or other characteristics.
For instance, a company may be found liable for discrimination if they deny someone employment solely based on their religion. Similarly, they can also be found guilty of discrimination if they only retain a certain age of employees while firing employees who are above a certain age.
Other hiring, retention, and firing disputes can include:
- Disputes over benefits, vacation, and leave time
- Disputes over salaries, wages, and hours
- Legal disputes over harassment and hostile work environments, especially if the conditions cause an employee to leave the company
- Wrongful termination disputes, especially when an employee is fired in retaliation for reporting a violation
- Conflicts involving retirement benefits, pensions, and severance packages
Remedies for employment disputes will depend on the type of legal issue involved. Remedies can involve a damages award or other actions such as a reinstatement after termination. In cases involving discrimination, the worker may need to file a complaint with the EEOC for a remedy. For salary and wage-related claims, the worker can usually file with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). For other claims, the worker may file a private lawsuit for damages, especially for breaches of employment contracts.
Hiring, retention, and firing are very important phases in an employment arrangement. State laws can be very different regarding the various requirements at each stage. You may need to hire an employment law attorney in your area if you need any help with an employment issue. Your lawyer can provide you with advice regarding your issue, and can research laws for more information. Also, if you need to file a claim with a government agency, or if you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can provide guidance for those processes as well.