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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 an important reminder for supervisors: Details count at evaluation time, especially if poor performance will lead to a performance improvement plan or even discharge.

Some employees seem to have no problem picking fights and engaging in arguments with co-workers, customers and supervisors. You don’t have to put up with it. Generally, courts are hesitant to second-guess an employer’s decision to fire a disruptive worker un­­less there is a compelling reason.

When employees need intermittent FMLA leave, they are entitled to take time off free from work responsibilities. Of course, that may leave some tasks undone. Some employees, especially those in management positions, may feel obliged to work additional hours, or may sometimes forgo taking leave. As long as there’s no employer pressure to get the work done, that extra work won’t support an FMLA-interference lawsuit.

Mokena-based United Road Towing will pay $380,000 to settle charges it discriminated against employees by terminating them at the end of their medical leaves rather than exploring possible accommodations.
Even an employee who was terminated for good reasons can win a discrimination lawsuit if she can show that someone outside her protected class wasn’t fired for the same transgression. That’s why you must track all discipline.

If you had to, could you quickly produce records showing that every employee who broke the same rule received the same punishment? Would you be able to readily explain any deviations? If you hesitated when answering these questions, it’s time for action.

If you limit personal use of electronics and fire an employee for violating that rule, he can’t get unemployment benefits. Excess online time is misconduct under those circumstances.

In this economy, employees who have been fired often resort to litigation. Jobs are scarce and litigation looks lucrative. Smart employers protect themselves by carefully documenting exactly why they fired employees.

If you’re ready to fire an employee because of a co-worker’s or customer’s complaint, think twice if the complaint is recanted. Otherwise, the fired employee may sue, claiming that your stated discharge reason was false and merely an excuse to terminate.

When an employee tells her supervisor she has a disability that makes it hard for her to get to work on time, it’s critical to factor that into any decision to apply a no-fault tardiness policy. Refusing to do so may be disability discrimination.

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