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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Some work environments are more at risk than others for sexual harassment to develop and fester. And those employers have a special obligation to look for harassment—and stop it. For example, if a few women now hold jobs traditionally performed by men, make sure the women aren’t being subjected to sexually demeaning or offensive conduct.

Employees who complain about discrimination are protected from retaliation—but not from every consequence of their complaint. Take, for example, what often naturally occurs when someone files a harassment complaint that turns out to be unfounded or unworthy of drastic action like firing the alleged harasser. There’s bound to be backlash from other employees ...

Sometimes, employers have to fire employees—even those who have recently filed successful discrimination complaints. Don’t be afraid to do so. You can beat a bogus retaliation claim by making sure you have good, solid documentation to substantiate the firing.

An employee who has been discharged may go looking for some underlying reason other than poor performance to explain why she got the ax. And she may suddenly remember incidents that now seem awfully a lot like sexual harassment. Your best defense to such charges is a robust harassment and discrimination policy that tracks every complaint.

An Alice-based oil field services company has settled a reverse race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The commission filed the suit in 2008 on behalf of Bert Yaklin, a white parts-department employee of Coil Tubing Services, which supports the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana.

Employees often don’t think about suing until after they have quit their jobs and moved on. Then they claim they had no choice but to quit because working conditions were so dreadful. Beat such allegations by keeping resignation letters and any notes taken during exit interviews. They help prove the resignation was voluntary.

Q. What are the deadlines for paying employees who are terminated or resign from employment?

Employees who sue under the FMLA for alleged interference with the right to take covered leave can’t throw in an additional claim for wrongful termination under state common law. That’s because North Carolina allows wrongful termination claims only in very limited circumstances ...

When it comes to termination, courts cut employers lots of slack—if employers can show they sincerely believed they were firing an employee for good reasons. You can show that good faith by having HR review all disciplinary actions, especially double-checking on termination decisions before they are finalized.

In a case that has simple yet profound lessons for employers, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer wasn’t liable for co-worker harassment—all because the company acted fast and effectively when it discovered the harassment.

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