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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In tight times, employers must explore every cost-saving option. After looking at several ways to balance the budget, you may decide you need to trim the workforce. Don’t be surprised if a laid-off em­­ployee sues.

Bosses may not like it, but em­­ployees have the right to complain about their working conditions. Characterizing those complaints as unfounded gossip doesn’t change that—and should never be a reason for termination ...

Sometimes, it’s clear that un­­less an employee shapes up, she’ll have to be fired. Argu­­men­­ta­­tive, insubordinate employees who balk at even minor requests fall into that category. Carefully document in­­fractions so when termination time comes, you have specific examples.

Here’s an important concept to remember when disciplining managers: They are responsible for what goes on below them on the organization chart, whether they know the details or not.
A federal trial court has reiterated that the important date for filing deadlines is not when an employee learns he was discriminated against, but when he was fired. Employees have to file their EEOC complaint within 300 days of discharge or they lose the right to sue.
When preparing to terminate a worker, you want to be able to produce the most solid documentation to defend a potential lawsuit. Just make sure supervisors know to document employee performance and behavior at the time it occurs—not just before or after the employee leaves the building.
Do you hand out periodic bonuses to employees? If so, be sure you can clearly describe how you calculate bonuses and what em­­ployees need to do to receive one. If you must later terminate an employee—and claim poor performance was the reason—she may point to the bonus as proof you fired her for discriminatory reasons.
Many organizations serve customers who speak a language other than English, and require em­ployees to have specific bilingual skills. If that describes your organization, make sure you can defend the language requirement if you’re sued.

Some employees do well for years, only to have their performance slip. There may come a time when you have to let the employee go. But what about all those glowing evaluations from years past? If you can prove that the employee’s performance has genuinely declined, those earlier evaluations won’t cause any trouble in court.

You don’t always have to punish two employees who break the same rule exactly alike. Just make sure you explain the difference for the record. That kind of documentation will prove crucial if an employee decides to sue.
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