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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Q. We fired one of our truck drivers after giving him a written warning about continued lateness in completing weekly logs. Should we have taken any other action prior to his termination? —R.W., California

Sometimes, employees who believe they're being harassed or discriminated against feel the situation is so bad that they're forced to quit. This is called "constructive discharge" ...

Q. We need to change our severance policy, mostly due to declining business conditions. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change? —J.C., Illinois

Q. In the December 2000 issue, you discussed the topic of employees with body odor. We also have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the agency. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with the dress code. At what point can we legally terminate her? —A.S., Michigan

Q. An employee in our plant was directed by a replacement line supervisor to use a machine that he wasn't trained to operate. The employee stuck his hand into the machine to clear a jam and was injured. The plant supervisor fired the employee while he was still in the hospital for operating machinery he hadn't been trained on. Does the employee have a right to sue us if he was actually ordered by the line supervisor to do this job? —K.C.

When the U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term on Oct. 2, look for a clear theme to the employment-related cases it has chosen to address: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ...

Don't open an employee's' personal mail If you know that a letter or package sent to that person at work is personal (not business related). A recent court ruling shows that you may be opening up a legal mess along with the letter ...

Employees need more than a hunch that their employer discriminates based on age. They need some kind of proof ...

If you use leased employees, you're not required to manage their FMLA leave. That's the leasing company's responsibility as the person's primary employer ...

If an employee is suffering from performance problems and wants a transfer to another supervisor or position, be careful which details in the person’s history you share with the new manager. That’s especially true if the employee has a history of filing legal complaints ...

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