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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Employers want honest ­employees who don’t lie, cheat or steal. To encourage honesty, be sure your company has a policy requiring honesty. That way, it’s easy to terminate someone you believe has acted dishonorably.
The financially troubled Harrisburg University of Science and Tech­­nol­­ogy has asked a federal judge to dismiss a retaliation lawsuit filed by a former professor. She claims she was fired over criticism she and her husband leveled against university officials.
Sometimes, two employees who break the same rule don’t deserve exactly the same punishment. But employers must make sure they can explain the difference.
Employees who steal from their employers violate their duty of loyalty. That makes them ineligible for unemployment compensation. That’s true even if the theft is small. But you must be prepared with clear testimony if you want to contest the worker’s right to unemployment benefits.
In Minnesota, employees are supposed to be paid promptly and receive an accounting of their time worked. Failure to comply may mean you’ll have to pay a penalty.
A cardinal HR rule: Everyone who breaks the same rule should receive the same punishment. That doesn’t mean a frequent rule-breaker can’t be punished more harshly.
Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious you need to terminate an employee. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to investigate and document your decision.

What if an employee goes on FMLA leave, and you discover that co-workers have been covering up for her incompetence? Or you find that she wasn’t telling you the truth. As this new case shows, it’s legally possible to terminate her.

You never know which fired em­­ployee might sue or for what reason. That’s why you should always carefully document all discipline, up to and including the final reason for discharge. The fact is, a legitimate business reason almost always defeats a discrimination claim.

In almost every case, clearly documented poor performance will trump discrimination allegations. That’s especially true if you can offer examples going back a reasonable period of time.
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