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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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To prove age discrimination, a fired employee must be age 40 or older and show that she was replaced by someone under 40 who was less qualified. Marcy Starnes, who managed the Carmel Cinema in Putnam County, didn’t have to look far to find her replacement. It was her daughter.
Plenty of employers vigorously en­­force their work rules when employees break them. But not every employee deserves exactly the same punishment if there are differences in their conduct. That’s why it’s important to document every detail.
Los Angeles clothing manufacturer and retailer American Apparel has agreed to settle an ADA lawsuit filed by a former employee who was fired while out on medical leave.

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.

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