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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 some good news for em­­ployers concerned about retaliation after an employee participates in protected activity such as testifying in another employee’s discrimination lawsuit. If a substantial amount of time has passed since the employee’s testimony, any disciplinary action you take probably won’t be enough to form the basis of a retaliation claim.

Smart employers use a variety of methods to prevent age discrimination and other claims. Such mechanisms don’t happen by accident, but require careful attention to detail and a comprehensive hiring and firing program.
Some employees might welcome a transfer from a physically challenging job to a more sedentary one. But for someone who liked the old job and doesn’t feel qualified for the new one, the move could feel like retaliation.

If a supervisor believes an employee has such a negative attitude that it warrants firing, do your HR duty! Immediately ask for documentation of the problem. It can’t wait until after the termination occurs. After-the-fact, subjective assessments may not survive a court challenge.

Q. We recently fired an employee for misconduct. She now claims we have to buy out all the vacation time she had not used. Do we have a legal obligation to pay her for accrued and unused vacation time?
Many employers wrongly assume that they can automatically terminate an employee once she used up her 12-week entitlement of FMLA leave. Such a policy could spell trouble.

If you have employees who deal directly with customers, how they handle those interactions may be grounds for dismissal. When a customer complaint plays a role in a discharge decision, make sure you can locate that customer later. Customers’ testimonies can be powerful in court because juries tend to view customers as impartial.

Minneapolis-based grocery chain Supervalu faces a lawsuit from a former employee at a distribution center in Pennsylvania. Long-time employee Terri Wolfinger claims the company changed the lifting requirements in her job description to prevent her from returning to work after she injured her arm.

Violence in the workplace is a harsh reality, but employers must provide a safe work environment. That may mean terminating employees who threaten other employees or get into fights.
Do you have one of those em­­ployees who are never happy and always seem to find something to complain about? It may be tempting to ignore the constant complaining or chalk it all up to personality conflicts, but that would probably be a mistake. Carefully document the tension and your response.
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