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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Develop IT Managers to Avoid Personal Liability

IT managers may be held personally liable for the following reasons as the result of firing of an employee:

  • Retaliation.

  • Invasion of privacy by making private information available publicly such as the reason for termination or health records.

  • Negligence for knowing of a situation and not addressing it, or not knowing of a situation when he or she should have.

  • Defamation for providing information that is injurious to an employee, to include slander and libel.

  • Inflicting emotional stress on employees.

  • Requesting an employee to perform an unlawful act.

Managers in the IT organization must be knowledgeable of company policies regarding discrimination  and wrongful discharge, familiar with Federal and State employment laws, committed to such policies and statutes, and grounded in moral values. Yearly refresher courses will help to keep the key policy concepts and principles in the forefront of management thought processes.

Additionally, managers without moral values will be inclined to either purposely or inadvertently violate discrimination  laws throughout the process of disciplining and firing personnel. It is incumbent upon employers to instill in their managers the values of respect for individuals and diversity, integrity, trust, and credibility. Screening managers appropriately in the first place based on these values when they are hired or promoted will reduce the difficulties for the employer in the future, financial costs over time, and the number of lawsuits filed.  

Some States require employers to indemnify a manager that is sued by another employee for all expenses incurred pursuant to his or her duties on the job, even if the manager directed the employee to perform an unlawful act. The funds expended in the manager’s defense of a personal lawsuit for wrongful discharge are covered by this compensatory provision.

The above book excerpt is from:

You're Fired! Firing Computer Professionals

The IT manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"

ISBN 0-9744486-4-8

Robert Papaj


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