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. Our company policy prohibits managers from dating subordinates. I have just learned that a manager has violated this rule. May we terminate him?

Remind supervisors and managers to stick with verifiable and documented facts when writing up an employee for poor performance, a mistake or other disciplinary matter. That’s because a false write-up could be grounds for a later defamation lawsuit.

If a fired employee sues your organization, alleging discrimination, you’ll probably want to argue that the real reason was the employee’s poor work perform­ance. Maybe you’ll want to claim that it was a mistake to hire the employee in the first place. Well, don’t expect the court to let you go on a fishing expedition into the employee’s past jobs.
How much your organization pays for unemployment insurance is based, in part, on how many former employees have successfully filed claims against you. Under­­standing who is eligible for unemployment benefits and who isn’t can go a long way toward keeping insurance rates low.
What’s weirder: Actor James Franco earning a D in a drama class, or a NYU professor alleging he got fired for ­giving Franco the lousy grade?
Sure, a birthday party may lift your spirits. But Congress probably didn’t have party attendance in mind as “covered treatment” when it gave employees the right to take FMLA medical leave. Still, should you instantly fire a worker for attending a party while on FMLA leave?
A hairdresser who once worked at Manhattan’s trendy Devachan has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the hair salon, where cuts go for $300. It’s a big one, too: She’s seeking $16 million!
Some supervisors may be secretly biased against members of a particular protected class—something that may be hard to tell until it’s too late. And if a bigoted boss decides to get rid of a subordinate by telling HR the employee is a poor per­­former, rubber-stamping that decision can mean losing a discrimination lawsuit.

Some employees facing criticism will own up to the problem and work to improve. Others simply refuse to recognize that their per­­formance is subpar or contributing to discord in the workplace. Either way, it’s worth at least ex­­tend­­ing to the employee a chance to improve and keep his job—after you have docu­mented the nature of the problem.

Smart employers use a variety of methods to prevent age discrimination and other claims. Such mechanisms don’t happen by accident, but require careful attention to detail and a comprehensive hiring and firing program.
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