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!

These are tough economic times, and employers can’t be blamed for cost-cutting measures such as reductions in force. But before you act to trim your labor burden, prepare solid evidence showing exactly why you must cut those costs. You need a clear, written record, since those who participated in the decision-making may not be around to testify if the layoffs are challenged in lawsuits.

Terminating an employee who has been out on workers’ compensation leave is a high-stakes process. How well you handle it can affect your ongoing workers’ compensation liability—and could also subject you to claims of wrongful discharge or retaliation. It’s made all the more complex by the fact that your workers’ comp carrier’s goals may conflict with yours.

Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard, and her productivity is only mediocre. If we terminate her, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?

Q. Is an employer required to pay workers for their unused vacation days when they resign or are terminated?

Here’s added incentive to handle terminations and other employment actions at the local level. When employees sue, their attorneys often look to expand the lawsuit beyond one person. They’re trying to find larger patterns of discrimination. This strategy can sometimes succeed if higher-ups in the company made the decision and based it on a common policy or framework.

When Gov. David Paterson was Senate minority leader in 2003, he fired a white photographer and replaced him with a less qualified black one. Now the state has agreed to settle the original photographer’s lawsuit for $300,000 while admitting no wrongdoing.

In a pair of 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals cases, the court has made it clear that it has little tolerance for political appointees who clearly understand they serve at the pleasure of their elected officials and still sue when they are terminated, alleging some form of discrimination.

If you develop a reasonable retention policy and follow through by regularly deleting information you don’t need, chances are an employee later won’t be able to say you intentionally interfered with the ability to present a legal case ...

Yes, you read right. Four billion dollars. Billion—with a “B”! A California superior court recently confirmed an award of $4.1 billion against a Chinese company, its U.S. affiliate and its founder after an arbitrator found them liable in a compensation dispute with a former executive.

If you’ve ever been caught up in an employment lawsuit, chances are you couldn’t wait for it to be over. Yet every case presents a valuable opportunity to prevent future problems and improve HR effectiveness by conducting an “autopsy” of the claim.