- Firing a series of direct questions, such as, “Are people scared?” and “Are people looking for jobs?” This “inquisitor” approach will only raise your source’s defenses and prompt self-censorship.
- “Fishing” with fuzzy questions such as “So, what’s on people’s minds these days?” Vague questions invite evasion, and you’ll have to start asking all over again.
- Making an objective statement and letting your source comment on it. Example: “I get the sense that people are worried about what’s going on here behind closed doors.” Since you’ve taken the lead, your source will be inclined to correct your statement or provide more information
- Don't let managers hire or fire based on family health costs
- Remind supervisors to err on the side of caution when employee claims medical emergency
- Tell bosses: No comments on insurance cost, age
- Document rationale and process for every firing decision
- Don't let jury duty force you to defend yourself in court