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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Some whistle-blowing employees think they can’t be disciplined if they report alleged wrongdoing to authorities or upper management. That’s not true. Employers can always discipline employees who break rules or perform poorly. The key is fairness and equal treatment.

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.

If you want to fire someone for misconduct, here’s a good reason not to drag your feet on it. If the delay is too long between the alleged misconduct and the termination, the employee may get unemployment compensation.
The EEOC is suing Bank of America, alleging it violated the ADA by firing a visually impaired worker after one day on the job at one of its Chicago locations.
Supervisors sometimes say incredibly dumb things. But those remarks won’t necessarily create liability—if you have carefully documented employee performance.

File it under “Ironic.” The Scooter Store faces EEOC charges that it failed to accommodate an employee who had a hard time getting around because of an injured knee. The New Braunfels-based chain sells motorized scooters and power chairs for people with limited mobility.

It’s true that at-will employees can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, as long as that reason isn’t discriminatory. Many employers therefore conclude that they don’t have to tell an employee why he’s being let go. But some even conclude they don’t have to document the reason, either. That can be a big mistake.

A new law allows the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to levy fines of at least $5,000 against employers that misclassify workers and requires the em­­ployers to publicize their violations on their company websites. Em­­ployers face penalties as high as $25,000 for willfully misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
Want to avoid needless and ex­­pensive lawsuits? One good place to start is by encouraging respect and civility. That’s because sometimes hurt feelings are enough to spur a lawsuit.

Under what’s called the Cat’s Paw Theory, employers can’t de­­fend themselves against employment discrimination claims by saying they didn’t know a supervisor was biased. The theory was first introduced in Shager v. Upjohn, a 1990 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

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