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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Smart employers make sure that no employee is ever punished for taking FMLA leave. They do that by carefully cataloging when every employee takes FMLA leave. And if they must discipline an employee for attendance problems, they spell out the reason why each absence counted toward punishment.

Here’s an important reminder to pass along to managers and supervisors: Simply dismissing a disabled employee’s request for accommodations is folly unless it is crystal clear that no accommodation is possible.
Q. We are a very small company and can’t afford to have an employee on extended leave. Can we legally terminate an employee who is called to jury duty and assigned to a lengthy trial?

When faced with discipline and the possibility of getting fired, some employees try to revive old complaints that have long since been resolved. They hope that resurrecting an old complaint will make their employer think twice about terminating. But employers are entitled to get work done. Don’t let a ploy like this prevent legitimate and necessary discipline.

Here’s a case that shows how not to handle a discharge based on alleged wrongdoing on the part of a super­visor and his subordinate.
Here’s a great reason for insisting that all supervisors document their subordinates’ performance problems: If an employee later claims her manager behaved abusively, good documentation will support any discipline for poor performance. That could block a harassment lawsuit.
A Fayetteville Taco Bell faces discrimination charges after it fired a long-term employee for failing to follow company grooming standards. Christopher Abbey had worked at the restaurant for six years before the length of his hair became an issue. Abbey subscribes to the Nazarite faith, which upholds Old Testament teachings that long hair shows one’s devotion to God.
Q. You’ve written that we can’t fire employees for their “concerted activity,” like talking about pay or bosses, and we may have to live with certain complaining via social media. But are there limits?
GameStop, the video-game retailer, fired an employee recently for tweeting two pictures of himself “planking” on the store counter and between two merchandise kiosks. GameStop has a policy that says employees can be terminated for online activity that puts the company in a bad light.
When it comes to bringing legal claims, employees feel emboldened when they can paint you into a “my word against yours” corner. But they don’t feel as comfortable—and likely won’t sue—when they’re facing a case of their word against two representatives from management.
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