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 terminating several em­­ployees at the same time, make sure you have carefully documented the reasons. That’s especially important if the employees share common protected characteristics such as age. You want to be prepared for a lawsuit if they decide the real reason they lost their jobs was their protected characteristic.

Berkeley School District 87 in Chi­­cago’s western suburbs has settled a controversial religious discrimination complaint filed by a Muslim teacher who sought unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber faces charges of disability discrimination at a plant in North Carolina after it terminated a woman because she suffers from a menstrual bleeding disorder, menorrhagia.
The same individual who hired an employee should also fire that em­­­ployee if necessary. Courts typically reason that no prejudiced person would hire someone and then later fire him because of discrimination, having known all along about the employee’s protected characteristics.
Ohio law allows individuals to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress, including cases that arise from work-related incidents. Fortunately for ­employers, uncaring or insensitive incidents don’t qualify. The circumstances must be truly outrageous.

Occasionally, you’ll run across an employee who has a hard time performing up to expectations and won’t accept suggestions to improve. If he belongs to a protected class, you may worry about a lawsuit if you terminate him. That shouldn’t be a problem if you take the time to document problems before termination.

Employees who need time off for childbirth but who aren’t eligible for FMLA leave aren’t entitled to additional protection under Ohio law. You can terminate the employee if your leave policies don’t provide another way to take time off. But if the former employee is ready to return after childbirth, beware rejecting her if she tries to reapply for an open position.

The EEOC has filed suit against Medi­­cal Specialties Inc., alleging it discriminated against Evelyn Lock­­­­­­hart because of her religion. She is a member of a Christian denomination whose practitioners are forbidden to work on certain days.

Whenever an employee reveals a disability, employers must explore reasonable accommodations. The EEOC clearly doesn’t consider it reasonable to send an employee home and then fire him, as the following case shows.

When an employee complains about perceived discrimination, how you treat the worker can greatly affect the outcome if the case reaches court. The best approach: Handle the case professionally, at the HR function level.

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