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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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.
Q. Our company has a leave-of-absence policy that states that any employee on leave longer than 12 months will be terminated. Our company’s leadership insists on this policy out of what they call business necessity. Are we opening ourselves up to risk?
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.
A crane operator working at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field found himself out of work after he hoisted an Alabama Crimson Tide banner inside the stadium.
Q. One of my employees recently made a post on Face­­book expressing his dissatisfaction with his job. In the post, he talked about being paid too little for the amount of work he performs, and that the whole office needs renovating, claiming, “rats don’t even want to work there.” Can I fire him for this, or at least discipline him?
You can’t prevent every lawsuit over a discharge, but you can be prepared. That preparation includes making sure you can point to solid, performance-based reasons for every termination. Lay the groundwork first with a performance improvement plan (PIP) and you will be well on your way to showing the court your decision was based on objective, measurable business reasons rather than some kind of prejudice or discrimination.
Sometimes, business conditions require companies to implement reductions in force. Before you put your HR seal of approval on who stays and who goes, be sure that hidden discrimination isn’t influencing the decisions.

Only when surveillance video surfaced in early September of football player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée did the team decide it was time to terminate him. What would your organization do if one of your employees were identified as a domestic abuser?

Q. I am the owner of several industrial facilities, but recent financial crises have forced me to have to shut down two of these plants. These closings and subsequent layoffs will affect about 600 employees. Am I re­­quired to notify the employees before laying them off?
Sometimes, workplace relationships deteriorate beyond repair. That’s especially true if an employee resorts to angry outbursts or even threats. That’s when it’s time to act.
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