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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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It’s certainly possible to terminate an employee who returns from FMLA leave—if you have good reasons un­­related to the FMLA.

Management doesn’t need to base its decisions on proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Courts generally uphold termination decisions, even if it turns out they were based on faulty information. Simply put, as long as an employer reasonably believes it’s firing an em­­ployee for a good reason, it doesn’t have to be right.

Most lawsuits are not triggered by great injustices. Instead, simple management mistakes and perceived slights start the snowball of discontent rolling downhill toward the courtroom. Here are 12 of the biggest manager mistakes that harm an organization’s credibility in court.

Employees can’t be deprived of FMLA leave as long as they meet the law’s requirements for length of employment and hours worked and must deal with their own or a family member’s serious health condition. After FMLA leave has been approved, it’s a huge mistake to question employees about how they use their leave. Essentially, doing so may be interpreted as interference with the right to take leave.

What if you suspect a supervisor/subordinate relationship, but the two people deny it? You probably can’t do anything more than reiterate your workplace rule against it. If it turns out the supervisor lied, you can certainly terminate him or her—both for breaking the rule and then lying about it.
The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.  With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?

You never appreciate a good performer until you’ve fired a bad performer. That’s because bad performers take so much time and attention to manage. From the moment you sense that an employee isn’t working out—and you set in motion disciplinary steps—you have to imagine a judge and jury watching your every move. That way, you can stand behind your actions without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

Treading carefully on today’s uncertain social media terrain, many employers might hesitate to punish employees for posting workplace comments online. But the National Labor Relations Board recently found in several scenarios that employers didn’t violate the National Labor Relations Act when they terminated or disciplined the employees.
You’ve told managers before, now tell ’em again: Email may seem like private communication, but it really isn’t. Anything a manager says in an email may become evidence in a lawsuit.
Supervisors sometimes say incredibly dumb things. But those remarks won’t necessarily create liability—if you have carefully documented employee performance.
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