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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Employers usually don’t have a problem terminating an em­­ployee for poor performance if the employee has never raised any kind of discrimination claim. But somehow, as soon as an employee goes to the EEOC (or even just HR) with a complaint, the same employer doesn’t know what to do. Should you terminate the em­­ployee and face a potential retaliation suit?

When terminating several em­­ployees at the same time, make sure you have carefully documented the reasons. That’s especially important if the employees share common protected characteristics such as age. You want to be prepared for a lawsuit if they decide the real reason they lost their jobs was their protected characteristic.

When an employee complains about perceived discrimination, how you treat the worker can greatly affect the outcome if the case reaches court. The best approach: Handle the case professionally, at the HR function level.

Berkeley School District 87 in Chi­­cago’s western suburbs has settled a controversial religious discrimination complaint filed by a Muslim teacher who sought unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
It’s impossible to know if a termination will lead a former employee to sue for discrimination. That’s why it’s crucial to enforce all your rules equitably. You don’t want an employee to be able to say that someone else broke the same rule without receiving harsh punishment.
The same individual who hired an employee should also fire that em­­­ployee if necessary. Courts typically reason that no prejudiced person would hire someone and then later fire him because of discrimination, having known all along about the employee’s protected characteristics.
Here’s a tip for handling a difficult and argumentative employee. If she tells her supervisors she doesn’t like her job, wants to avoid some tasks and otherwise doesn’t seem interested in progressing, note her lousy attitude.

Occasionally, you’ll run across an employee who has a hard time performing up to expectations and won’t accept suggestions to improve. If he belongs to a protected class, you may worry about a lawsuit if you terminate him. That shouldn’t be a problem if you take the time to document problems before termination.

The EEOC has filed suit against Medi­­cal Specialties Inc., alleging it discriminated against Evelyn Lock­­­­­­hart because of her religion. She is a member of a Christian denomination whose practitioners are forbidden to work on certain days.

A Texas employee of TIAA-CREF is suing the retirement fund giant after she was fired for allegedly sharing her computer password with a co-worker. In June 2011, she resigned to avoid being fired for the offense.
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