Head Harvester Steve Cesare is our point person to help companies improve their human resources programs.  If you have any human resources questions for Steve send him an email or call him on his cell phone at 760-685-3800.

Harvester Steve’s HR series, “The Top 10 Most Serious Human Resources Mistakes That Companies Make” appeared in Lawn & Landscape magazine. The series now appears in podcast form for the on-the-go landscape contractor.

Click Podcast #29 in the sidebar to the right — >
as you follow the outline below

A few handy notes appear below to assist in the process.

Wrongful termination typically occurs when a worker is fired for reasons that are discriminatory, unlawful or inconsistent with company procedures.

Key issues concerning wrongful termination that landscapers should know about

Wrongful termination claims are usually based on one of three points:

  • First, the termination must have been without “cause” and the employee had an express employment contract or an “implied” contract based on the circumstances of hiring.
  • Second, wrongful termination can occur whenever an employee is fired due to illegal discrimination (e.g., race, gender, sexual preference, age).
  • Third, wrongful termination can occur when a termination contradicts “public policy.”
    • For example, wrongful termination would be evident if an employee is terminated for:  identifying an illegal company action (i.e., retaliating against a whistle blower), refusing to perform an illegal or unsafe act, or filing a workers’ compensation claim.

What are some of the best practices throughout the landscape industry that help landscapers minimize the likelihood of committing wrongful termination.

  • First, all Best in Class companies have a strong “at-will” policy, positioned in the five proper locations in their employee handbooks, with a signed acknowledgment form from every employee.
  • Second, Best in Class employers have ample, convincing, and accurate documentation that supports terminating an employee legally, capable of withstanding wrongful termination claims.
  • Third, Best in Class organizations have effective performance management programs (e.g., job descriptions, performance evaluation, action plan) that address individual performance issues.
  • And fourth, Best in Class companies, don’t fire employees quickly; they follow a consistent and evidence-based process.

If you have any questions about Wrongful Termination or any human resources related question send an email to Steve

In our next Grow Show podcast,  Harvester Steve will share the Fifth Most Serious Human Resources Mistake Companies Make when he shares some valuable insight about Workers’ Compensation.


Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.