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!

Remind managers not to punish or otherwise retaliate against employees who report suspected drug use by fellow employees. Such tip-offs may constitute protected activity, and retaliation may lead to a lawsuit.

Here’s a simple way to prevent lawsuits when you have to fire a recently hired employee: Direct the person who hired the employee to also do the firing. If the employee belongs to a protected class, courts will conclude that the termination wasn’t discriminatory. Otherwise, why would the employee have been hired in the first place?

A former lawyer at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has filed a lawsuit against the law firm for terminating his employment after he wrote a performance evaluation that criticized another associate and partner.

There’s a silver lining to the rising number of employment lawsuits: Courts are losing patience with applicants, employees and former employees who file discrimination lawsuits that have no basis in reality. Recently, the 6th Circuit approved sanctions against such employees and their attorneys.

Q. Our company is considering replacing sick leave and vacation benefits with a paid time off (PTO) program. How are these plans treated upon the termination or resignation of an employee?

A federal court has ruled that Ohio employees who want to sue for disability discrimination can’t add on an additional claim of wrongful discharge under the so-called public policy of the state of Ohio. Employees have to use the federal ADA and the state disability discrimination statute instead.

You might have rogue managers in your midst without even knowing it. If one of your supervisors has it in for a subordinate for discriminatory reasons, and you rely on his recommendation to terminate an employee, you may be in trouble.

A newly elected official may want to terminate those employees politically tied to his predecessor—and he often may ask HR how to handle the firings. Because such cases can be close calls, always refer the matter to experienced legal counsel.

Some conditions aren’t serious enough to constitute disabilities, but some supervisors wrongly assume they do. That’s a major problem: By assuming a condition is disabling, they’re “regarding” the employee as disabled—something the ADA prohibits. Thus, the ADA protects even employees who aren’t disabled.

Sometimes, employees who’ve been terminated go looking for an excuse to sue. And when something as simple as an offhand conversation gets back to the former employee through the grapevine, it could fan flames that turn into a defamation lawsuit.