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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Could you explain to a court exactly when you decided to fire an employee? If not, you need a system for tracking your decision-making process. That can be invaluable, as this case shows.

In a case with important implications for employers in states where medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that an employee who was fired after testing positive for cannabis does not have to be rehired.

You probably have specific rules that spell out discipline for common violations. That doesn’t mean you can’t tailor the punishment to each individual situation. The key is to document the details that justify why one employee who broke a rule was punished more harshly than someone else who broke the same rule.

Sometimes, it looks like an employee has been performing just fine—until someone discovers that her work was really subpar all along. Before you discipline or fire the worker, document what you discovered (and when) so you can explain away prior good performance reviews.

When it comes to reductions in force, employers must make sure that they develop a fair, reasonable and explainable selection process. Be prepared to show that the selection was based on sound business decisions and that the layoff wasn’t an excuse to terminate employees who might otherwise have a legal discrimination claim.
We live in an era when employees have more power than ever—which has made it more legally tricky to come down on them when you need to send a message.
What should you do if you learn one of your employees brandished a gun and threatened suicide, but a doctor released him back to work? Shouldn’t you be concerned about safety? Let's examine a recent case.
Employees who lose their jobs be­­­­cause of willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. But whether misconduct occurred can be called into question by any agreement the employer and employee may have signed calling for a suspension instead of termination.

While you may not want to share the information with your employees as you prepare for a reduction in force, be sure to document the reasons. That’s especially true if the underlying reasons are monetary—that you simply can’t afford to employ as many people as you have in the past.

In cases where you may be concerned about a lawsuit over firing an employee, consider instead a last-change agreement. Think of it as hitting the reset button. Both the employer and the employee have one last chance to save the relationship.
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