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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When employees take FMLA leave (or other time off related to a disability), make sure you adjust any work deadlines. Otherwise, you risk a retaliation claim.
The Court of Appeal of Florida has concluded that employees fired for poor attendance must have a chance to show they tried to comply with their employer’s attendance policies before they are denied unemployment compensation benefits.

Employees who are suffering from depression, anxiety or other psychological problems may be disabled, but that doesn’t mean they’re excused from following the rules. For example, employers don’t have to tolerate threats, even if the threats concern the employee’s disability.

Some employees can never seem to see that their bad attitudes and behaviors cause workplace problems. Confronted with complaints, they inevitably claim their subordinates or customers are wrong. When they’re finally terminated, they're quite likely to sue. That’s when it’s handy to have a performance appraisal process that uses 360-degree reviews.

Sometimes, it’s obvious that a disciplinary policy isn’t working. Occasionally, management’s ideas about discipline evolve. When you do replace your discipline policy, make sure you document exactly when the change went into effect. That way, an employee who is punished more severely can’t point to the earlier disciplinary actions as evidence he was unfairly singled out.
It’s not up to most managers to write a company’s discipline policy. But it's a manager’s responsibility to interpret, implement and enforce it in a consistent and fair manner. How well do you know your discipline do’s and don’ts? Take this quiz to find out.
Courts don’t want to second-guess employers unless they feel they have no alternative. When an employee charges discrimination based on different treatment because he belongs to a protected class, the court first looks at the employer’s rules and tries to see if they have been enforced consistently.

If you want a termination decision to stand up in court, make sure you carefully document all discipline that occurred before the firing—and do so at the time the discipline occurs. Otherwise, chances are a court or jury may assume the earlier incidents didn’t happen.

It may sound silly, but there’s a very practical reason to be careful when questioning employees during an investigation: Some especially sensitive people may feel they are being held involuntarily—and sue for false imprisonment.
A recent state appellate court decision offers clarification about how employers can handle an employee’s false or exaggerated sexual harassment complaints.
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