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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How much your organization pays for unemployment insurance is based, in part, on how many former employees have successfully filed claims against you. Under­­standing who is eligible for unemployment benefits and who isn’t can go a long way toward keeping insurance rates low.
What’s weirder: Actor James Franco earning a D in a drama class, or a NYU professor alleging he got fired for ­giving Franco the lousy grade?
Sure, a birthday party may lift your spirits. But Congress probably didn’t have party attendance in mind as “covered treatment” when it gave employees the right to take FMLA medical leave. Still, should you instantly fire a worker for attending a party while on FMLA leave?
A hairdresser who once worked at Manhattan’s trendy Devachan has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the hair salon, where cuts go for $300. It’s a big one, too: She’s seeking $16 million!
Some supervisors may be secretly biased against members of a particular protected class—something that may be hard to tell until it’s too late. And if a bigoted boss decides to get rid of a subordinate by telling HR the employee is a poor per­­former, rubber-stamping that decision can mean losing a discrimination lawsuit.
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.
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