Surprise! If you reasonably believe an employee who’s out onbroke a workplace rule, you can fire him—even if it turns out you were wrong.
Recent case: Instead of showing up for an overtime assignment, Joe tookto care for his sick child. A co-worker had told his boss that Joe was planning to go to a casino that day, so the company suspended Joe pending an investigation. Then it spoke with several employees, who all reported that Joe was planning the casino trip and had encouraged them to call in, too.
Joe was terminated and sued, alleging he never went to the casino.
The court said that was irrelevant. His employer investigated the casino rumor and believed it true, which was good reason to fire Joe. (Pulczinski v. Trinity Structural Towers, No. 11-2585, 8th Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be cautious with FMLA firings; ADA, FMLA can overlap
- When it comes to firing offenses, be sure you can show you treated everyone equally
- Good news: The clock eventually runs out on negligent hiring after you've fired worker
- Lawyer fired for appraisal sues for wrongful discharge