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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You may assume that an employee who obviously isn’t meeting expectations will simply go away when you fire him. Don’t bet on it. He’ll probably apply for unemployment. Be prepared to show exactly why you terminated him.

Employers have the right to expect their employees to be honest. When an employee is fired for lying about being sick and missing work, the employer won’t be liable for unemployment compensation payments.
When supervisors act out of anger or ignorance, the result is seldom good.
OSHA has ordered Georgia-based Interline Logistics Corp. to rehire a whistle-blowing Sauk Village driver who reported that his truck had brake problems.

Sometimes, it’s obvious that an employee will not work out. If that employee belongs to a protected class, you may be tempted to treat her with kid gloves. Don’t. Instead, keep the focus on performance deficiencies.

Here’s a valuable tip when discharging an employee: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It can lead to years of needless ­litigation and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees even if you win in the end.

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.
You’ll rarely lose a termination-related lawsuit if your handbook contains clear rules that you follow consistently. That’s because when everyone who breaks the same rule is equitably disciplined, fired employees will have a hard time finding ­workers outside their protected class who were treated more favorably than they were.

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.

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