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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A Texas employee of TIAA-CREF is suing the retirement fund giant after she was fired for allegedly sharing her computer password with a co-worker. In June 2011, she resigned to avoid being fired for the offense.
When employees are fired, they may have a hard time getting another job. Sometimes, they suspect their former employer is providing a bad reference. And often, a defamation lawsuit will follow.

Employees may think that by making a request for FMLA leave, they can stop their employer’s legitimate disciplinary actions. That’s not true. Employers that can clearly establish an independent reason for discipline seldom lose an FMLA retaliation case.

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.

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