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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If you are receiving reports that a manager or supervisor is engaging in name-calling, look beyond the obvious problem. It just may be that discrimination is a pervasive problem. It’s your job to bring it to light before it’s too late.
Make it clear that it’s essential to complete time sheets on time. Dis­cipline those who don’t follow the rules. If you have to fire time sheet ­slackers, rest assured they won’t be eligible to collect unemployment benefits on your account.
Sometimes, an employee does something so outrageous that you have no choice but to fire her. If she sues, you may worry that her past good reviews will create trouble. They won’t if you documented the incident leading to the discharge.
Here’s an important reminder when management gets nervous about terminating a so-called whistle-blower. Solid, legitimate reasons for discipline take precedence over protections to which whistle-blowers are entitled.
It’s a good standard policy: The person (or persons) who made the hiring decision should also take part in any firing decision. That way, the employee can’t argue that discrimination based on an obvious protected characteristic like race, sex or handicap must have been at work.

Under the FMLA regulations, if an employee is incapacitated, someone else can notify the employer, whose FMLA obligations are then triggered. But that doesn’t mean that a co-worker merely telling a supervisor that the employee is “sick” works as notification. Employers are entitled to better notice than that.

Here’s a timely reminder that you should carefully document disciplinary actions and make sure there is no unintentional discrimination. The key is to thoroughly consider the appropriate punishment for each transgression, taking into account all the details.
No one wants to have to explain why an employee just lost her job. But passing the buck and coming up with inconsistent excuses are the worst possible approaches. Instead, make sure the information comes from one source—preferably HR—and stick with a defensible reason.
Firing someone because you be­­lieve he has a disability violates the ADA under some circumstances, but not all. If the disabling condition is transitory and minor, you can terminate without violating the ADA.

If your workplace isn’t exactly the picture of diversity, the need to fire your only minority employee may worry you. Isn’t that just courting a lawsuit? Maybe—but that’s no reason to retain a poor performer.

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