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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Here’s something to remember the next time you agonize over discharging an employee for breaking a rule: While you should treat all employees honestly, you don’t have to conduct a mini trial to determine “guilt.” It’s enough to believe you had a legitimate reason to fire the employee—even if it later turns out you were wrong.

Make this a mantra in your organization: The same person who hired an employee should be the one to fire him if necessary. Here’s why:

If you have employees who deal directly with customers, how they handle those interactions may be grounds for dismissal. When a customer complaint plays a role in a discharge decision, make sure you can locate that customer later. Customers’ testimonies can be powerful in court because juries tend to view customers as impartial.

Do you have one of those em­­ployees who are never happy and always seem to find something to complain about? It may be tempting to ignore the constant complaining or chalk it all up to personality conflicts, but that would probably be a mistake. Carefully document the tension and your response.
Los Angeles clothing manufacturer and retailer American Apparel has agreed to settle an ADA lawsuit filed by a former employee who was fired while out on medical leave.

If two employees break the same workplace rule, they should receive the same punishment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t distinguish between degrees of culpability. It’s perfectly fine to terminate an employee who has a long history of rule breaking and retain another because it’s a first offense.

If a supervisor believes an employee has such a negative attitude that it warrants firing, do your HR duty! Immediately ask for documentation of the problem. It can’t wait until after the termination occurs. After-the-fact, subjective assessments may not survive a court challenge.

Philadelphia-based Imperial Security will pay $50,000 to settle EEOC charges it discriminated against a woman and fired her because of her religious attire.
Many employers wrongly assume that they can automatically terminate an employee once she used up her 12-week entitlement of FMLA leave. Such a policy could spell trouble.
A former manager at a Pittsburgh-area Panera Bread shop is suing the chain, claiming he was fired in retaliation for refusing to implement his boss’s racist directive.
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