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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There’s no way around it: When you fire someone who has been harassing other employees, he may sue. Accept that fact and carefully document the investigation that led to the termination.
Your best employees are probably eager for promotions. But when only one slot is open, promotions often leave several well-qualified candidates disappointed. To keep disappointment from leading to lawsuits, consider offering career coaching for those employees who didn’t make the cut.

Employers can use no-fault attendance policies as a way to control absenteeism. There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of no-fault programs, which allow a certain number of unexcused absences without any documentation, and then punish employees who go beyond allowable limits. But before you fire an employee for breaking your absenteeism rules, carefully consider whether he is eligible for FMLA leave.

Good news for employers: When an Ohio employee sues for alleged discrimination under state, federal or local anti-discrimination laws, he can’t also add claims that he was wrongly terminated in violation of public policy. The other laws are his sole remedy.

Before terminating an employee who has recently filed a discrimination claim, consider whether the timing may provoke a retaliation lawsuit. Generally, the closer in time to the complaint a termination occurs, the more likely a court will order a jury trial. You may still terminate the employee—if you’re sure that’s appropriate.

Here’s an employer argument that didn’t work: It couldn’t have been pregnancy discrimination when we fired her because she wasn’t pregnant anymore.
Employees may be disabled under the ADA if surgery or another medical condition forces them to use the bathroom frequently. The condition affects a major life activity—elimination of wastes.

It comes as a bolt out of the blue: The Florida Commission on Human Relations notifies you that there’s “reasonable cause” to believe retaliation was the reason a female employee lost out on a promotion to a male co-worker. But it was a clean promotion process! How did this happen? As it turns out, this is the “cat’s paw” doctrine at work.

Q. We have a new administrative employee in our medical office who missed 22 days of work in her first nine weeks. She has doctor excuses for illnesses for most of the days, but my front office is a shambles. Can I put her on written warning for excessive absences? Can I terminate her?

Every year, employers face yet another increase in their health insurance premiums. And if there are many older or sick employees, those costs will keep on rising. Even adding one sick child to the list can drive costs into the stratosphere. But before you even consider firing (or refusing to hire) someone because they might jack up insurance costs, count your dollars, not your pennies. You might be staring down a lawsuit that could dwarf whatever premium costs you hoped to avoid.

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