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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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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.
You can take steps to ensure that most employee lawsuits will fail, especially when it comes to discipline. The key is to make sure similar misconduct yields similar punishment, regardless of the employee’s race, sex, age or other protected characteristic. It’s also critical for HR to track discipline carefully.
Texas public employees who work under a contract don’t have a property interest in that job once the contract expires. That means they can’t sue for deprivation of property.
Employers that willingly hire older employees and later discharge them are unlikely to lose if they later face an age discrimination suit.

Some employers have strict rules that prohibit supervisors from getting involved in subordinates’ personal problems—or treating them badly. That’s fine. Employers are free to set their own supervisory standards, and a subor­dinate’s behavior doesn’t excuse a supervisor’s out-of-bounds reaction.

Government employees have a few rights that private-sector employees lack. One is the right to “some sort of” hearing before being terminated. A public employee essentially gets the right to challenge the decision to terminate him before it is final. But what happens if the employee signs on to a so-called last-chance agreement?

Here’s a caution about workplace logistics such as office assignments, work schedules and other supervisor actions that members of a particular protected class could view as hostile: If the result is any kind of workforce “segregation,” make sure you have a good underlying business reason that has nothing to do with race, sex, etc.
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