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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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?
Employees who have taken FMLA leave and then been fired often sue. However, all is not lost for ­employers faced with such a case—if they can show they would have fired the em­­ployee anyway. In fact, chances are, they’ll win.
Employers can’t terminate em­­ployees just because a sick dependent increases health insurance costs for the employer. That violates ERISA. But if the employee is terminated for unrelated gross misconduct, he has no ERISA or COBRA claim.
When those at the top of the organizational chart make racist and other offensive comments, trouble is sure to follow. Not only do slurs often bring negative publicity, but they also taint otherwise independent employment decisions.
Here’s some encouragement for HR professionals caught in a seemingly no-win situation. If you are fired for insisting that the company comply with anti-discrimination laws, you probably can sue.
You don’t tolerate slurs spoken in English, do you? Then don’t put up with vile, intolerant and demeaning speech in other languages. It’s the content that matters, not the language spoken.
As long as you treat all employees equally, courts won’t second-guess your decision to fire someone for ­violating an anti-violence policy.

Under the ADA, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against employees who have a history of drug addiction but who aren’t current users. Before you or anyone else in management comments on suspicions that an employee has backslid, make sure you have evidence to back the claim.

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