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I want to get rid of my long time accountant, but I'm concerned as to how I do this so she does not claim age discrimination.

Anoka, MN |

It was suggested to me that I offer her a month long vacation so that I can bring in a new accounting company. I do have an accounting company ready to go. SHe has told me that she is ready to retire, but then changes her mind and commits to another 3 years! I am ready to move on but ahve no reason to let her go other then I don't have room for her and her salary anymore.

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Attorney answers 2


In Minnesota, you can terminate an employee for no reason or any reason but not an illegal reason. As you already know, age is an illegal reason. It sounds like your reason is not her age, but could be related to her time and experience with the company. No HR action will ever be bullet-proof. Still, there are things you can do to make a clear record of your nondiscriminatory intention, work toward negotiating an amicable separation involving a release of claims, and best posture yourself in a defensible position in the event the separated employee brings a claim against your Company. Advising on how to handle the separation involves the particular facts and personalities involved in your situation and is beyond the scope of the forum. Contact your attorney for guidance, or you can call me.


As stated above, your reason for termination must be a legal reason. That could be a performance related reason, or a legitimate business reason, such as a need to cut staff for budget reasons. Bringing in someone else to do the same job would eliminate the business reason. But you dont state any failure to perform. If you just want to replace her with someone who will work for less, or is younger, you are setting yourself up for difficulty. Consult an attorney on this before you take action. The attorney can help you work out a strategy within legal bounds. Sounds like the attorney above has some ideas. I would not hurt to start there and consult more than one.

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