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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There’s whistle-blowing and then there’s setting up one’s employer for a lawsuit. Genuine whistle-blowers are protected from retaliation. Those looking to make a quick buck are not.

Employers that find themselves in the cross hairs of the National Labor Relations Board should get expert legal help, especially if charged with unfair labor practices. That’s because once the NLRB concludes you fired employees for engaging in protected activity, it is very hard to argue against those employees’ eventual reinstatement.

Arbitration agreements have to meet basic contract rules, including one that says both parties must be bound by its terms. Otherwise, the agreement is “illusory” and won’t be considered a binding contract.
Before disciplining or discharging an employee based on a supervisor’s recommendation, make sure you independently investigate the reason. That’s the only surefire way to avoid “rubber-stamping” a biased supervisor’s hidden agenda.
When employees take FMLA leave (or other time off related to a disability), make sure you adjust any work deadlines. Otherwise, you risk a retaliation claim.
The Court of Appeal of Florida has concluded that employees fired for poor attendance must have a chance to show they tried to comply with their employer’s attendance policies before they are denied unemployment compensation benefits.
Sometimes, it’s obvious that a disciplinary policy isn’t working. Occasionally, management’s ideas about discipline evolve. When you do replace your discipline policy, make sure you document exactly when the change went into effect. That way, an employee who is punished more severely can’t point to the earlier disciplinary actions as evidence he was unfairly singled out.
It’s not up to most managers to write a company’s discipline policy. But it's a manager’s responsibility to interpret, implement and enforce it in a consistent and fair manner. How well do you know your discipline do’s and don’ts? Take this quiz to find out.
Courts don’t want to second-guess employers unless they feel they have no alternative. When an employee charges discrimination based on different treatment because he belongs to a protected class, the court first looks at the employer’s rules and tries to see if they have been enforced consistently.

If you want a termination decision to stand up in court, make sure you carefully document all discipline that occurred before the firing—and do so at the time the discipline occurs. Otherwise, chances are a court or jury may assume the earlier incidents didn’t happen.

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