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 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.
Post-termination communication is one area in which managers can get into trouble. Managers should follow these best practices when communicating about an employee’s departure.
Here’s a good rule of thumb when disciplining employees: Consider it a given that if discipline leads to termination, the entire disciplinary decision-making process will be challenged in court. That’s why you must carefully document every disciplinary action, starting with warnings.

Disabled employees sometimes try to use their medical conditions as an excuse for poor behavior. Don’t fall for it. Disability can’t be used to avoid discipline for misconduct.

It used to be that managers picked up the phone when seeking HR’s input on how to handle an employee problem. These days, they send an email. That can spell big trouble. Email, unlike a phone conversation, leaves a perfect record of what transpired. And courts don’t hesitate to use email as evidence.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a worker who claimed she was fired in retaliation for taking intermittent FMLA leave. The court ruled that she was fired for the most defensible of all reasons: She treated a customer badly.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has handed a significant victory to the EEOC, allowing the agency to continue to supervise settled cases. The impact: Employers should expect continued EEOC charges even after the ink is dry on their settlements.
Sometimes an employee pro­­moted to management just isn’t ready for new responsibilities. Maybe she’s having a hard time thinking like an exempt employee, longing for the days when she was entitled to breaks and overtime. Fortunately, if you discipline such employees for neglecting their duties, they can’t later claim they actually were hourly employees entitled to overtime.

Here’s a good rule of thumb when disciplining employees: Consider it a given that if discipline leads to termination, the entire disciplinary decision-making process will be challenged in court. That’s why you must carefully document every disciplinary action, starting with warnings.

Here’s an important reminder for all supervisors: Innocent age-related comments can come back to haunt you. That’s especially true if the comments come from someone who has a direct say in hiring and firing decisions.
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