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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Businesses and nonprofits that receive taxpayer money and contract with government agencies to provide services may be prohibited from using religious criteria in hiring and firing. And hiring on the basis of someone’s religious beliefs or affiliation may be proof that an employer has crossed the line.

Before you fire any employee, double-check to make sure others who performed just as poorly or made similar mistakes were also terminated. Doing so may prevent a lawsuit … or, if you are sued, at least provide evidence that you treat everyone alike.

Generally, employees can appeal if they’re denied unemployment compensation because they were fired for cause. To win, they must show they were fired without just cause. However, the rules change when an employee is fired for a positive drug test.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers age 40 or older from discrimination based on age. To win an ADEA lawsuit, an employee has to show that a younger employee replaced her. However, that younger employee must be at least six years younger unless there is direct evidence of age discrimination.

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.

According to an online survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, employers are not firing workers quite as often for faking illness to get a day off: 15% of employers fired workers this year because they faked an illness, down from 18% in 2008. It appears fewer employers have the time to check up on absent workers. So why are workers absent when they aren’t sick?

It's no secret that employees gossip about pay. And it's no secret that those conversations often cause resentment and tension in the workplace. Wouldn't it be great if you could forbid employees from discussing compensation? Don't even think about it until you've read this comprehensive guide to the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act.

Talking with employees about their performance problems can be an uncomfortable moment for any manager. But it’s also a crucial part of the job and, if done well, will ultimately make a manager’s job much easier. Here are seven steps to planning and executing such discussions:

One easy way to cut down on lawsuits when you have to fire an employee: Have the same person who hired or last promoted the employee also make the final decision on termination. Courts often conclude that it would make no sense for those who hired or promoted someone to turn around and fire that same person for discriminatory reasons. This is called the “same-actor” defense.

Before taking command of the U.S. Army’s VII Corps in West Germany in 1978, Lt. Gen. Julius Becton needed to brush up on his German. Becton’s college studies in German, though, had focused on reading and writing, so now he put in three weeks of training to work up a little fluency. His real lesson came later ...

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