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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Treating a disabled employee even a little differently than others can spell big trouble. That even applies to seemingly minor differences such as telling one employee in advance about an automatic termination po­­licy, but not informing a disabled employee about the rule.
Employees who question your timekeeping process may be setting you up for an FLSA lawsuit. How you respond may make the difference between winning and losing. If you promptly fix what turns out to have been an innocent mistake, the court probably won’t consider the original complaint protected activity.
When a good employee with no disciplinary record suddenly turns into a bad employee following FMLA leave, watch out. You may have on your hands a bitter supervisor who wants to punish the employee for disrupting workflow, creating scheduling hassles and otherwise making life more difficult. Before approving discipline or a poor evaluation, look deeper.
Employees with disabilities have the right to request reasonable ADA accommodations. Punishing them for making such a request can be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit—even if no accommodations were possible or due.
Here’s an important reminder that it takes just one Nean­der­thal boss to launch a lawsuit: Treat­­ing working mothers differently than working fathers is sex discrimination. Never turn a blind eye if you hear a super­visor is doing just that.
Here’s an important factor when considering discharge: Dis­­crimi­­nation complaints made years ago can form the basis for a lawsuit if the underlying events show a pattern of discrimination.
If someone was terminated for breaking workplace rules, he may claim you treated others outside his protected classification more favorably. The best way to counter such charges is with very specific records showing why you believe each punishment fit the rule violation.

For an employee to win a dis­crimination lawsuit, he has to show that he was qualified for the job he held. Some employers assume that if they disciplined the employee for poor performance, that proves he wasn’t qualified. But a court might not see it that way if you trained and tested him before putting him to work.

If you want to offer a severance package to an em­­ployee in exchange for giving up the right to contest a discharge, give him plenty of time to consider the offer. If you don’t, the signed deal may not be final.
Here’s some good news for those handling discipline and wondering whether your decision will stand up in court: You don’t always have to be exactly right, just fair and honest.
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