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Willig, Williams & Davidson Partner Irwin Aronson Addresses Employee Rights Issues in Relation to 'Term Limits' Imposed by Some Employers

February 4, 2012

Listen to Willig, Williams & Davidson Partner Irwin W. Aronson interviewed on the Wednesday, February 4, 2012 edition of The Rick Smith Show, “Where Working People Come to Talk.” In this segment of the show, host Rick Smith speaks with Aronson about the new Revel Casino scheduled to open in Atlantic City, N.J. and the casino operator’s startling announcement that it is imposing a so-called “term limit” that will terminate the employment of all non-managerial employees of the new gaming and resort facility after just six years. During the interview, Aronson points out that virtually all workers who are not protected by a Union contract are typically “at will” employees who may be disciplined or discharged for just cause, or no cause at all, as long as it is not for an illegal discriminatory purpose such as race, gender, protected age or a disability for which an employer may make a reasonable accommodation. Aronson goes on to say that this may very well be a thinly veiled disguise in the form of a “policy” by the employer to attempt to permit it to engage in otherwise illegal employment discrimination by suggesting that a discharge is not based upon an impermissible discriminatory purpose but on its policy, though never negotiated but unilaterally imposed, that every employee who is not in management will be terminated after six years regardless of competence, accomplishment, quality of work or compliance with the employer’s work rules and expectations. Aronson suggests that maybe this employer would like to be viewed as offering workers a guarantee of six years of full time employment. Smith and Aronson also discuss the possible implications of this employer’s new “term limits” automatic firing policy on a discharged worker’s eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits when it will be their rule that forces a good worker to be discharged without cause.

The interview also delves into the subject of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision tossing out the very politically motivated Pennsylvania General Assembly redistricting plan that the Court determined is in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the chaos that will be created by a federal lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania House of Representatives Speaker, Sam Smith, who is challenging the propriety of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requirement that the upcoming elections be conducted under the 10-year-old previous redistricting model. In that context, Aronson notes that there are currently six vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, most of which were previously occupied by legislators who were supportive of the views of working people, for which special elections must be held, and which Smith is not scheduling, pending the outcome of his legal challenge.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

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