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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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For an employee to win a dis­crimination lawsuit, he has to show that he was qualified for the job he held. Some employers assume that if they disciplined the employee for poor performance, that proves he wasn’t qualified. But a court might not see it that way if you trained and tested him before putting him to work.

If you want to offer a severance package to an em­­ployee in exchange for giving up the right to contest a discharge, give him plenty of time to consider the offer. If you don’t, the signed deal may not be final.
Here’s some good news for those handling discipline and wondering whether your decision will stand up in court: You don’t always have to be exactly right, just fair and honest.
Recently, a Texas appeals court was asked to determine whether firing an employee because of a Face­­book post violated that employee’s state law privacy rights. The court held that it did not.

Q. What factors do the courts use to determine if termination is an appropriate penalty?

Most of the time, an employer needs only to honestly believe the reason given for a termination. However, that’s not true in cases involving the FMLA or California family leave.
A federal court in North Carolina has refused to add another legal avenue disgruntled employees can use to sue. The court said even after recent amendments that expanded the scope of the law, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act doesn’t protect whistle-blowers who report what they believe are serious safety violations at work.
The next time you discipline an em­­ployee, consider how his conduct compares to others who broke a similar rule. Then detail the differences if the punishment varies. That way, you can later explain why two employees violating a similar rule deserved different punishments.

Q. It has come to my attention that one of our managers has posted his résumé on an online job board. Is it legal to ask him if he is actively looking for another job? If he is, do we have grounds to terminate him?

Clothing retailer Wet Seal appears headed for a settlement after the EEOC ruled against it in a race discrimination complaint that alleged a high-level effort to trim the number of black employees working at the teen fashion retailers’ stores.
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