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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Make sure before you fire someone that she’s been paid everything she is owed. And if the employee has complained about pay irregularities, be sure to investigate right away.
Employers that keep detailed disciplinary records showing exactly why an employee was disciplined are much more likely to win lawsuits. That makes it harder for an employee to argue he was singled out for unfair, discriminatory punishment.

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.
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