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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Employees who believe they have been disciplined more severely than co-workers may blame the disparity on some form of discrimination. They may think that their age, sex, national origin or some other protected characteristic is the real reason. Even if you know you haven’t been biased, be prepared for the accusation.

The federal labor law can be a trap for the unwary—even for nonunion employers. Even if your employees don’t belong to a union, the National Labor Relations Act applies to you. Example: A nonunionized employer now has to pay $900,000 to two fired employees to settle charges that it violated the NLRA. To avoid similar trouble, you must understand this law!

Supervisors sometimes make the mistake—often during the hiring process or after employees pass a 60-day post-hire period—of using the term “permanent” when discussing their jobs. That essentially promises the person a job for life and it can destroy their at-will status.
New York City’s Princeton Club faces a lawsuit alleging it terminated a long-time employee because of her accent. The employee claims the club fired her after nearly 30 years of service because a new general manager found Hispanic accents “embarrassing.”
For the second time since 2009, Product Fabricators is being charged with disability discrimination. Accord­­ing to an EEOC complaint, the Pine City-based sheet metal manufacturer fired an injured employee instead of accommodating him.
It’s a free country, right? Em­­ployees can express themselves however they want at work. Wrong. The right to free speech on the job only applies to public employees, and even then there are significant limitations.
Employees who lie when confronted about wrongdoing are ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits—at least if the lie concerned something about which the employer could reasonably expect the truth.
Here’s a tip to keep in mind the next time you must terminate an employee: Even if you don’t intend to tell the worker why he is being fired, be sure to carefully document the reasons. That way, if you are challenged later in court, you can point to the contemporaneously produced record as evidence you had a legitimate, business-related reason for your decision.

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.
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