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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Q. We have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the company. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with our grooming code. At what point can we legally terminate her?
To avoid needless litigation, make sure someone else sits in on termination meetings.

Here’s a situation that many HR professionals dread: An employee complains about discrimination and you fix the problem. Then there are workplace changes and it looks as if the employee will lose her job. Should you worry about retaliation? Not so much that you start treating the employee with kid gloves.

Make sure you document exactly when and why you decided to terminate an employee, even if you must wait until later to tell the employee.

The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) prohibits retaliation when employees engage in protected activity at work. Since REDA protects employees, some employers have argued that the law doesn’t apply to former em­­ployees. It does.

Q. Can we rely on a release of all employment claims when terminating a military service member or veteran?
Employers have a right to expect em­­ployees to follow the work rules laid out for them. Employees who are terminated for breaking those rules won’t be eligible for unemployment compensation because it was their fault they were discharged.

Hesitant to fire an employee because of his race, religion or other pro­­tected characteristic? Don’t be. Employers with legitimate reasons to discharge someone generally win cases. That’s true even if the firing might appear discriminatory—such as when the sole fired employee happens to belong to a protected class.

Some employees need FMLA leave to cope with work stress. But that doesn’t mean that employers can’t punish someone who makes threats.
When deciding who should get the ax during cost-cutting reductions in force, use as many objective factors as possible. For example, use performance measures that include specific achieve­­­ments and rankings based on those achievements.
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