Make sure you document exactly when and why you decided to terminate an employee, even if you must wait until later to tell the employee.
Recent case: Jamie Lichtenstein worked for a psychiatric clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Attendance was crucial because of legally mandated staffing levels.
Lichtenstein was often tardy, frequently called in sick and demanded schedule changes.concluded she was wreaking havoc with her attendance issues and decided to terminate her before her next shift began. However, she didn’t show up because her mother was suddenly hospitalized.
She was terminated a few days later, after her mother returned home and needed Lichtenstein’s care.
She sued, alleginginterference. But the court said she had no case since the termination decision had already been made before she needed . (Lichtenstein v. University of Pittsburgh, No. 09-1350, WD PA, 2011)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Cut your risk! Have HR make firing decisions
- Do we have to pay fired employee for accrued but unused vacation time?
- Don't silence or punish workers who compare their pay
- How should we go about changing severance pay policies spelled out in employment agreements?