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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You work like a dog for the organization every day. You stay up at night trying to keep pace with the constantly changing rules and regulations of employment law. You’re even called to put your own career on the line when the organization is hauled into court. Why is that?

Businesses must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. Further complicating matters, most states have their own laws that override the federal requirements. To comply, you first must know which laws apply to your business, based on the number of people you employ ...

A North Carolina restaurant is facing an EEOC lawsuit after it disciplined and fired a 79-year-old employee.
Discrimination can creep into the workplace, even if on the surface there’s nothing blatantly offensive going on. There are still supervisors who treat subordinates poorly because of race or some other protected characteristic. That’s why HR should exercise caution before authorizing discipline against an employee who is meeting concrete goals like sales figures, but is being criticized for more general problems.
Employees who have lost their jobs have very little to lose and everything to gain by suing their former employers. Your best defense when firing: Al­­ways carefully document a performance-related reason for the termination. That will trump all but the most egregious cases of supervisory expressions of bigotry.
Never ignore an employee lawsuit, even if you think it is frivolous. In­­stead, prepare to defend yourself as soon as possible. That way, you can push for a quick dismissal if it’s clear the employee has no case.
Here’s an important reminder for HR professionals handling em­­ployee discipline: If the disciplinary process is well under way—and you believe that the proposed discipline is fair, reasonable and based on facts—there’s no need to stop the process just because the employee files an internal discrimination complaint.
Think twice before firing a good employee who has complained. If she can prove she earned excellent reviews and had good attendance, she may win a jury trial based on timing alone.
Some disabled employees never tell employers about their con­­ditions—even if their disability could affect performance. And of course you know you shouldn’t treat employees as disabled unless they claim a disability. But what if you fire someone for poor performance?
Q. I would like to fire an employee who is unpleasant to work with. We simply don’t “click.” Do I have to have cause to terminate him?