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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If you’re faced with an employee who isn’t a good fit with his or her current job, is termination the answer or is demotion a better alternative? The answer is, of course, it depends.
Many HR professionals spend time agonizing over whether to fire someone they believe broke a rule warranting discharge. Could they have been wrong about the facts? Relax. There’s no need to second-guess yourself endlessly. Instead, conduct a prompt and thorough investigation and make a decision.
A supervisor’s foul temper can alienate employees—and wind up costing an employer big bucks.
Here’s some good news for em­ployers frustrated with former employees who file groundless discrimination lawsuits. Judges are increasingly unwilling to bend over backward to enable lawsuits that look like sure losers by assigning court-appointed attorneys.
If you are receiving reports that a manager or supervisor is engaging in name-calling, look beyond the obvious problem. It just may be that discrimination is a pervasive problem. It’s your job to bring it to light before it’s too late.
Make it clear that it’s essential to complete time sheets on time. Dis­cipline those who don’t follow the rules. If you have to fire time sheet ­slackers, rest assured they won’t be eligible to collect unemployment benefits on your account.
Sometimes, an employee does something so outrageous that you have no choice but to fire her. If she sues, you may worry that her past good reviews will create trouble. They won’t if you documented the incident leading to the discharge.
Here’s an important reminder when management gets nervous about terminating a so-called whistle-blower. Solid, legitimate reasons for discipline take precedence over protections to which whistle-blowers are entitled.
It’s a good standard policy: The person (or persons) who made the hiring decision should also take part in any firing decision. That way, the employee can’t argue that discrimination based on an obvious protected characteristic like race, sex or handicap must have been at work.

Under the FMLA regulations, if an employee is incapacitated, someone else can notify the employer, whose FMLA obligations are then triggered. But that doesn’t mean that a co-worker merely telling a supervisor that the employee is “sick” works as notification. Employers are entitled to better notice than that.

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