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 recently fired a veteran sales representative on short notice. He still has a new iPad that we purchased to help make sales presentations. We have repeatedly asked him to return the iPad, but he is ignoring our requests. Can we now just deduct the cost from his last paycheck?

Some employees assume that complaining about harassment or discrimination will protect them from being disciplined. They may have heard or read that the fear of a retaliation lawsuit will make employers so gun-shy that they won’t crack down on misbehavior. Don’t let employees handcuff you like that.

Employers experiencing economic difficulties can cut positions if need be and not worry that it cost the job of an employee who was out on maternity leave. But beware! If the decision to cut the employee was based on her having taken leave, she can sue.
Do you have a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence? That doesn’t mean you have to fire everyone who violates the letter of the rule. You can use some discretion, as long as you document why.
There are some things employers just can’t do, no matter what a senior manager may want. For example, you can’t punish a good employee for pointing out potential legal violations.
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.

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.

If you set rules for employees to follow, then make sure everyone in the organization follows them. That includes supervisors. Otherwise, your policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

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