Firing

There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.

Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!

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Planned layoffs are at a record low heading into 2015, according to a survey released Dec. 3 by the nonprofit total rewards association WorldatWork.
Philadelphia-based Comcast’s much maligned customer service has taken another hit. This time a Cali­­f­or­­nia man claims a cable TV billing dispute caused him to lose his job with Price­­waterhouse­­Coopers.
Has an employee been arrested for threatening behavior involving a co-worker? You don’t have to wait for the criminal trial and conviction to discipline the employee. You don’t even have to reconsider if the police drop the charges. What matters is that you have an honest belief that the em­­ployee broke company conduct rules—even if you end up being wrong.
The former billing manager for Abing­­ton Memorial Hospital in Mont­­gomery County, Pennsylvania, has filed a ­­whistle-blower suit against her former employer. She claims she was fired for alleging that the hospital lab mislabeled blood samples to increase the fees it could charge.

Employees may begin suspecting that their job is in danger before management has a chance to implement a discharge decision. That’s when you can expect them to complain about harassment or discrimination. Or, in Minnesota, they may request a copy of their personnel file to see what’s in it and prepare for a potential lawsuit. Beat that strategy by carefully documenting the discharge process.

Generally, Pennsylvania employees who aren’t union members or don’t have a written employment agreement are at-will employees who can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. There’s one major exception: Employers can’t fire at-will employees because of their protected characteristics. But there is a second exception gaining prominence in court cases.

If there’s one reason for firing an employee that’s likely to stand up in court, it’s insubordination. Employers that carefully document an employee’s refusal to follow directions or listen to a supervisor’s reasonable instructions or rules are likely to win a lawsuit.

Q. A new employee just told us she has a seizure disorder. Our facility works with vulnerable adults and the new employee would be required to drive them. This poses a risk potential for the client’s safety. Can we terminate this person or do we need to figure out an accommodation? The employee hasn’t asked for any yet.
Here's another reminder to employers to exercise caution in imposing discipline for conduct on social media.
Bad relationships can affect employees in surprising ways. When a romance ends, anger and frustration at home can wind up infecting the workplace. You can discipline employees if blow-back from love gone wrong harms your business.
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