former employee was terminated along with a company wide layoff. she was returning from 9 months of medical leave. she asked to work part time.
You are responsible for your actions.
Terminated employee may have viable lawsuit against both you and company.
I have to assume that you fired the lady since your facts are rather light. But If you were acting for the company you would not likely be liable.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is "it depends". There are many factors that need to be explored that go way beyond a one sentence question to accurately assess your personal liability. The analysis needs to start with the company structure and your role with the company.
I've seen this very factual scenario play out in a corporation where the president instructed a Vice President to terminate an employee on the same facts. I understand your concern and the fact that you feel you had no power in making the decision. Having to deliver that message is just not good at all.
Without knowing more facts on the structure, it is really hard to give you any real good help here. If your concerned about your personal liability you should spend some time with an attorney in confidence to really dig deep into the facts and see where you land.
Kevin A. Spainhour, Esq. - Hopefully this information is helpful. My answering this question giving my general thoughts does not create an attorney/client relationship and is not a legal opinion. The only way to create an attorney client relationship is to retain our services and that can be done over the phone, email or in person.
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