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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The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act outlaws discharging em­­ployees for filing workers’ compensation claims. It’s a protected activity. Equally illegal: Jumping the gun by firing employees before they ­actually fill out the workers’ compensation paperwork.

Employers have an obligation to make sure employees know what kind of performance is expected of them. Under no circumstances should you wait until you’re ready to discharge the employee to put criticism in writing. That creates the suspicion that you came up with reasons as a cover for illegal discrimination.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it fired Steve Barto from his job as an environmental group manager because he intimidated employees, used racial slurs and behaved erratically. When Barto sued the DEP for allegedly violating his civil rights, he painted a different picture.

Illinois employees are protected from retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. Protection kicks in when a claim is actually filed or when the employer knows the employee was injured and needs medical care. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fire an injured employee for reasons wholly unrelated to the injury.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent retaliation lawsuits is to follow up with the employee who complained. Remind her that you won’t tolerate retaliation, and be sure to check back at least once following the investigation.
Highmark Blue Shield has terminated its CEO in the wake of criminal charges that he attacked the husband of a former employee with whom he was having an affair.
Never automatically assume an employee who is performing well is disabled—even if you observe what you think are signs of a disability. It could mean losing big if the employee sues.
Employers can’t fire employees for refusing to engage in criminal acts. But that doesn’t mean em­­ployees can proclaim “That’s illegal!” and expect to get away with what is really insubordination.
The Texas Supreme Court has handed an important victory to Texas employers eager to avoid jury trials for employment disputes: It ruled that, as long as the employees are at-will workers, threatening to fire them for refusing to give up the right to a jury trial does not invalidate the agreement.
In a recent case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to extend protected status to an investigator who wanted her company to go further than it was willing to after it discovered sexual harassment.
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