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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!

If you have a manager or supervisor whose decisions have caused lawsuits that you have lost, be on your toes the next time that manager has to make an employment decision. Make absolutely sure that you can pin the decision on some objective reason.

Q. We have terminated an employee who has moved out of state and requested we mail his last check to him. Do we have to mail it? If so, when?

Sometimes, an employee whose job is in jeopardy will try to protect it by initiating a lawsuit intended to intimidate her employer. She may call in sick instead of showing up for a termination meeting, hoping to create an FMLA retaliation or interference claim. Here’s how to handle such tactics.

It’s time to check your policy on maternity leave. An Ohio appeals court has ruled that it may be discrimination if you don’t provide maternity leave to employees who don’t qualify for your usual leave plan because they haven’t been on the job long enough.

Employees are often quite sophisticated about their legal rights—especially when they suspect their jobs may be on the chopping block. When they think of the lawsuit possibilities, they may even try to set up their employers. One easy way
to get a case going is to blow the whistle on alleged wrongdoing.

Employers that use an employee’s long-ago military service against him may be liable under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA isn’t just for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A jury recently awarded $900,000 to a former employee of the Texas Commission on Human Rights, which is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws, for firing her in retaliation for complaining about discrimination against the agency’s own employees.

Q. We recently had to discharge an employee for poor work performance. We are a relatively small company (70 employees) and don’t often fire people. Because of special circumstances that forced us to terminate the employee rather than try corrective action, we think it is very possible there will be some kind of litigation. Do you have any recommendations for what we should do or think about now, even before any lawsuit has been filed?

Q. One of our financial managers has filed for bankruptcy, and our directors now want to terminate him because they doubt his financial judgment. They’re also worried that customers will react negatively to the news that one of our finance people is going bankrupt. Can we lawfully discharge him?

If you have an employee who seems constantly exhausted, take note: He or she may suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). And under the newly revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that person could be deemed “disabled” and entitled to reasonable work accommodations ...