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!
When preparing to terminate a worker, you want to be able to produce the most solid documentation to defend a potential lawsuit. Just make sure supervisors know to document employee performance and behavior at the time it occurs—not just before or after the employee leaves the building.
Do you hand out periodic bonuses to employees? If so, be sure you can clearly describe how you calculate bonuses and what employees need to do to receive one. If you must later terminate an employee—and claim poor performance was the reason—she may point to the bonus as proof you fired her for discriminatory reasons.
Many organizations serve customers who speak a language other than English, and require employees to have specific bilingual skills. If that describes your organization, make sure you can defend the language requirement if you’re sued.
Some employees do well for years, only to have their performance slip. There may come a time when you have to let the employee go. But what about all those glowing evaluations from years past? If you can prove that the employee’s performance has genuinely declined, those earlier evaluations won’t cause any trouble in court.
You don’t always have to punish two employees who break the same rule exactly alike. Just make sure you explain the difference for the record. That kind of documentation will prove crucial if an employee decides to sue.
Treating a disabled employee even a little differently than others can spell big trouble. That even applies to seemingly minor differences such as telling one employee in advance about an automatic termination policy, but not informing a disabled employee about the rule.
Employees who question your timekeeping process may be setting you up for an FLSA lawsuit. How you respond may make the difference between winning and losing. If you promptly fix what turns out to have been an innocent mistake, the court probably won’t consider the original complaint protected activity.
When a good employee with no disciplinary record suddenly turns into a bad employee following FMLA leave, watch out. You may have on your hands a bitter supervisor who wants to punish the employee for disrupting workflow, creating scheduling hassles and otherwise making life more difficult. Before approving discipline or a poor evaluation, look deeper.
Employees with disabilities have the right to request reasonable ADA accommodations. Punishing them for making such a request can be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit—even if no accommodations were possible or due.
Here’s an important reminder that it takes just one Neanderthal boss to launch a lawsuit: Treating working mothers differently than working fathers is sex discrimination. Never turn a blind eye if you hear a supervisor is doing just that.