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!

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

Pennsylvania common law protects employees from discharges that violate public policy, but what violates public policy isn’t defined. Courts must therefore decide what the term means.

You probably know that employers can and are sometimes held liable if their employees harm customers. That’s especially true if they knew or should have known that the employee might be dangerous. But your potential liability—if you negligently hired an employee in the first place—doesn’t go on indefinitely.

Q. Are we required to let terminated employees come in and view their personnel files, or can we copy the information and send it via mail? One of our fired employees has hired an attorney and wants to see her file.

Sometimes, employees think all it takes to keep from being fired is a well-timed complaint alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation. That, they reason, will scare an employer into overlooking poor performance or even criminal behavior. Don’t fall for it.

A federal judge recently certified two classes of workers in a suit accusing the law firm Thelen, LLP, of firing them without notice. Also certified were three subclasses of workers alleging that the defunct law firm failed to compensate them for vacation time.

Florida employees are protected from retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. Any move that may be seen as punishment or retaliation—that comes shortly after an employee files for workers’ comp—may lead to a lawsuit based almost entirely on timing alone.

In light of the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, employers have begun re-examining the cases of some employees who were involuntarily discharged for misconduct. The purpose? To determine whether the employees are eligible to receive a 65% subsidy for continuation of health insurance benefits under COBRA.

Soon after Gary Lizalek was hired at a Wisconsin medical firm, he informed the company that he believed, as a matter of religious faith, that he was three separate beings. The company fired all three Lizaleks. He sued, saying the company failed to accommodate his religious beliefs.

If your organization doesn’t have a solid performance evaluation system in place, you’re taking a high-stakes gamble you just might lose. Discharged employees who sue will have a much easier time getting to a jury trial if you can’t produce performance evaluations that back up why you terminated them.