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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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.

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.

In today’s down economy, nearly every termination and layoff is fraught with risk. Layoffs are supposed to be blind on issues of race, sex, age, etc. But, if you are making these decisions in the dark, you are making a big mistake that could prove very costly. Before implementing a layoff, it’s crucial to review the demographics of who is staying and who is leaving.

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.

Relatively few lawsuits—including discrimination and employment-related cases—are actually tried in a courtroom. In most cases, the parties reach a private settlement. But what happens if the parties reach a settlement and the employer holds up its end of the bargain, only to have the employee have second thoughts and bring another lawsuit?

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.

Employers now have an answer to their single biggest and most vexing question about the elaborate new federal subsidy arrangement under COBRA, but it may not be the answer they were hoping for or expecting.

Bosses and employees have very different views of employee privacy when it comes to posting on social networking sites, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Sixty percent of executives responding to the survey said they have a right to know how employees portray their companies online, but 53% of workers said their off-duty posts are none of their employers’ business.

The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk. Have your company’s personnel policies and practices had a checkup lately? A comprehensive audit is one of the easiest ways to spot problems.