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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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.

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.

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?

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