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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When OSHA said it had received an anonymous complaint about safety conditions at one of Brocon Petroleum’s work sites, executives there had a pretty good idea who made the call. So the Freehold-based company fired the employee. OSHA did not take it well ...

Although the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) primarily has been applied to sexual harassment claims involving employers and employees, a new decision by a New Jersey appellate court recognizes that the LAD can also apply to a refusal to engage in business transactions if it is based upon the refusal to comply with requests for sex.

Generally, public employees are entitled to a hearing before they are terminated. But in some government functions, employees who work at senior levels are deemed to be serving at the pleasure of the head of their agency or unit.

Sometimes you realize early on that a recent hire is not going to work out. He may have looked good on paper, but isn’t doing well on the job. It may then be time to cut your losses.

Some employees try to fabricate a lawsuit by resigning and then alleging that some form of discrimination made their working conditions so intolerable that they had no choice but to quit. The name of this claim: constructive discharge. Fortunately for employers, it takes more than a few isolated comments to create intolerable conditions. And, as the following case shows, the fear that working conditions will become intolerable isn’t enough to justify quitting before things get bad at work.

If you offer severance pay to discharged workers, take note. If you’re terminating an older employee—and you ask the employee to waive the right to sue for alleged age discrimination in exchange for your severance package—be sure to offer something more than what you offer others who lose their jobs.

Listen up! Breaking news! It doesn’t really matter whom you label as a supervisor any more. As a way to hold a company liable for sexually harassing conduct by a “supervisor,” one court recently relabeled a co-worker as a “supervisor,” even though this person had absolutely no power to hire, fire, promote, demote or otherwise affect the harassed employee’s job status. The court, with the support of the EEOC, ruled that just being the “highest ranking employee on site” with the ability to set schedules and dole out discipline makes for a supervisor as a matter of law.

Here’s another good reason to meticulously track performance: If you end up firing or demoting someone without good documentation, you may end up in court. Bad timing alone could trigger a lawsuit if the employee engaged in some sort of protected activity just before the action.

Having a written anti-harassment policy and clear reporting procedure can help you defend a harassment claim. But those aren’t silver bullets. As a new ruling says, your efforts must “be effective to prevent harassment.” In the following case, a manager’s failure to pass along complaints about the actions of a repeat offender were clearly not “effective” …

While the federal Civil Rights Act contains no outright prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation, that doesn’t mean employers can get away with discriminating against employees who don’t fit society’s stereotypes about how men and women should look. Sex stereotyping may well be sex discrimination because it is based on notions of what is “feminine” and “masculine.”