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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Poor performance sounds like a legitimate reason to fire someone. That doesn’t mean the employee won’t sue. If that happens, you must be prepared to show that other em­­ployees who held the same position and had similar performance issues were also terminated. If not, you had better be able to explain why.
A Manhattan court stenographer’s job dissatisfaction is part of the official record after he repeatedly typed, “I hate my job, I hate my job” into the transcripts of 30 trials.
Do you have an employee who is so disruptive that co-workers repeatedly complain? You may have to fire her. Before you do, carefully document how her behavior negatively affects the workplace and what rules she is breaking.

Here’s a bit of practical advice for that rare occasion when you may have to escort an employee off the premises: Make sure to have a second person there to help you. There’s credibility in numbers.

Employees don’t always see eye to eye on discipline, performance appraisals or other workplace issues. But as long as you reasonably be­­lieve that your discipline was appropriate or your evaluation was on the money, you have little to fear. Simply put, the employee doesn’t get to second-guess your reasons.

One of the worst things you can do when you fire an employee is to provide shifting explanations for the discharge. The best approach: Talk to your lawyer before you terminate, to clarify exactly what your reasons are.

Q. One of our employees gave us a two-week notice because he found another job. However, now the employee is unmotivated and not focused on his work. Can we let him go before the two-week period is up?

Employees are entitled to fair treatment, but that doesn’t mean HR has to become a court of law and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an employee did something deserving of discharge. As long as you reasonably believe an employee broke a rule or other­­wise did something deserving of discharge, a termination will stand up to a legal challenge.

When an employee’s candy bar got snagged in a vending machine, he got a little out of hand: He banged on it and rocked it. When the 90-cent Twix bar still didn’t fall, he got way out of hand ...
Q. We are relocating to another state. While several employees will not be given relocation packages, I do plan to give them severance packages. Is it legal to require them to stay to a certain date in order to receive the severance?
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