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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Although state and federal laws protect new mothers from discrimination, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled it was legitimate for an employer to fire an employee who did not ask for an accommodation to pump breast milk. The court concluded that the employer didn’t discriminate on the basis of sex, but simply terminated an employee for insubordination.

You can preach your zero-tolerance policy on discrimination and retaliation until you’re blue in the face—and sometimes it still makes no difference. Occasionally a supervisor will say or do something stupid that gets the company dragged into court. However, there are steps you can take to avoid liability.

Employers can terminate employees who are on FMLA leave if the employers are sure they can later prove to a jury that they would have made the decision to terminate whether the employee took leave or not. That’s a tough burden, so you must make sure you have a solid reason—and you must document it.

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.

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.

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