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 never appreciate a good performer until you’ve fired a bad performer. That’s because bad performers take so much time and attention to manage. From the moment you sense that an employee isn’t working out—and you set in motion disciplinary steps—you have to imagine a judge and jury watching your every move. That way, you can stand behind your actions without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

Treading carefully on today’s uncertain social media terrain, many employers might hesitate to punish employees for posting workplace comments online. But the National Labor Relations Board recently found in several scenarios that employers didn’t violate the National Labor Relations Act when they terminated or disciplined the employees.
You’ve told managers before, now tell ’em again: Email may seem like private communication, but it really isn’t. Anything a manager says in an email may become evidence in a lawsuit.

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.
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.

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.

You won’t find many employers extolling the upsides of having a unionized workforce, but there is one advantage. If your union contract provides for a probationary period before an employee becomes a permanent part of your workforce, you may have more discretion in how you discipline the new em­­ployee.
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