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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Offering the option to resign or retire instead of facing an investigation into alleged wrongdoing doesn’t always block a later lawsuit if the employee accepts—but it usually does. Be prepared to show the resignation or retirement was truly voluntary.
If your union contract has a “just cause” for termination clause, get the union’s sign-off on a covered employee’s last chance agreement.
Sometimes, employees can only imagine that discrimination or retaliation is to blame for their sudden unemployment. If you had a good reason to terminate such an employee, don’t worry. The circumstances immediately preceding the discharge decision are what matter.
Courts like to see that employers pause before firing an employee accused of breaking a rule and then document their investigation carefully. Interviewing the employee should be routine in most disciplinary cases. Temporarily suspending an employee before making a final decision also shows the court that the process was fair.
The best approach to dealing with declining performance is careful and meticulous record-keeping showing expectations and how the employee isn’t meeting them. Objective facts trump the employee’s feelings that she is being discriminated against for some reason.
It may have been one of the worst layoff memos of all time. After beginning with a breezy “Hello there,” Microsoft honcho Stephen Elop’s July 17 all-staff email stumbled obliviously downhill.
Being fired isn’t an easy thing for employees to handle. With emotions running high, some situations escalate quickly. Be prepared to handle emotional outbursts.
Some workplace behavior is so outrageous that employers must take immediate action. While a complete and thorough investigation is ideal, don’t be afraid to act fast when necessary.
Sometimes, it makes sense for a business to reduce costs. One way may be to cut personnel, especially employees who are highly compensated and whose work may be redundant. A danger, of course, is that the most highly paid may be older workers, and terminating them may prompt an age discrimination lawsuit.
Q. We recently notified employees that we will be cutting pay due to difficult economic times. Then we received an anonymous letter expressing concerns about this decision. It suggested alternatives to pay cuts, such as eliminating our employer 401(k) match. We determined that the letter was written by one employee and edited by another. Can we terminate them?