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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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.

Employees who are suffering from depression, anxiety or other psychological problems may be disabled, but that doesn’t mean they’re excused from following the rules. For example, employers don’t have to tolerate threats, even if the threats concern the employee’s disability.

It’s always wise to keep careful records showing exactly why you terminate employees. They’re crucial if an employee ever sues. By showing specific reasons why you fired someone, you will be able to show the court that the termination was appropriate.

Some employees can never seem to see that their bad attitudes and behaviors cause workplace problems. Confronted with complaints, they inevitably claim their subordinates or customers are wrong. When they’re finally terminated, they're quite likely to sue. That’s when it’s handy to have a performance appraisal process that uses 360-degree reviews.

When you have to investigate allegations that may lead to termination, it’s a good practice to conduct that investigation as independently as possible. That often means you will have to leave out of the picture any supervisors who have a negative history with the employee.

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.

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.
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