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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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Here’s how to win termination lawsuits: Back up your decisions with solid business reasons for the discharge—especially if you had to let people go to reduce labor costs or otherwise survive financial hardship.
While you should certainly discourage workplace comments that could be misconstrued as hostile, don’t panic if you learn an insensitive supervisor said something stupid. Unless the remarks were out-and-out racist, chances are they won’t be the basis for a hostile environment racial harassment lawsuit.
Here’s something for small business owners to consider when purporting to terminate an employee for financial reasons. If the owner spends lavishly elsewhere, that may be evidence that money was just an excuse for a discriminatory termination.
An investment banker in Chicago, unhappy when he discovered a co-worker had been fired, mooned his boss. He was fired and, as a result, lost out on a $2 million payout that would have vested in a couple of months.
Do you have an employee who’s threatening to sue if you discipline him? Don’t let that prevent legitimate discipline.
A school guidance counselor is suing the New York City Department of Education after she was fired after some long-ago photos of her modeling lingerie surfaced on the Internet. Her lawsuit claims discrimination and wrongful termination.
A teacher who was fired after filing a police complaint against a student who threatened him at school has won the right to a jury trial.
An employee’s casual remark to HR can lay the groundwork for a retaliation claim if the comment could be interpreted as objecting to some form of discrimination. That’s good reason to train HR staff to report all comments and consider them as protected activity.
Take heart if you have ever de­­cided to reinstate an employee or re­­scind discipline because the employee threatened litigation. Doing so won’t wipe clean his disciplinary record or imply that you admitted he’s living up to your expectations.
Q. We want to terminate an underperforming employee and are considering offering a severance agreement in which we agree not to contest unemployment benefits and he agrees to resign and release the company from any claims. Is that OK?
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