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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Q. We recently fired a veteran sales representative on short notice. He still has a new iPad that we purchased to help make sales presentations. We have repeatedly asked him to return the iPad, but he is ignoring our requests. Can we now just deduct the cost from his last paycheck?

Some employees assume that complaining about harassment or discrimination will protect them from being disciplined. They may have heard or read that the fear of a retaliation lawsuit will make employers so gun-shy that they won’t crack down on misbehavior. Don’t let employees handcuff you like that.

Lifeguard Tomas Lopez was perched atop his chair at Hallandale Beach on July 1 when he heard calls for help. He sprinted down the beach, dove into the Atlantic and helped rescue a man who was struggling in the surf. The swimmer survived; the lifeguard’s job did not ...
Smart employers have policies that require supervisors to document all discipline. That documentation can come in handy if a discharged employee decides to sue. The fact is, employers usually win lawsuits if they show they had a legitimate reason for an employment decision.

Employees are supposed to get FMLA certifications back to their employers within 15 days. But it’s not a good idea to terminate an employee simply because you didn’t receive the paperwork on time. The FMLA regulations include an out for employees who miss the deadline for reasons beyond their control.

Employers experiencing economic difficulties can cut positions if need be and not worry that it cost the job of an employee who was out on maternity leave. But beware! If the decision to cut the employee was based on her having taken leave, she can sue.
Do you have a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence? That doesn’t mean you have to fire everyone who violates the letter of the rule. You can use some discretion, as long as you document why.
There are some things employers just can’t do, no matter what a senior manager may want. For example, you can’t punish a good employee for pointing out potential legal violations.
Here’s an important reminder for supervisors: Details count at evaluation time, especially if poor performance will lead to a performance improvement plan or even discharge.
Are you frustrated with an employee who seems to never get the job done right? Before you terminate her, give her plenty of opportunity to improve. Show her what she is supposed to do and document when she doesn’t.
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