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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Hesitant to fire an employee because of his race, religion or other pro­­tected characteristic? Don’t be. Employers with legitimate reasons to discharge someone generally win cases. That’s true even if the firing might appear discriminatory—such as when the sole fired employee happens to belong to a protected class.

Government employees have a few rights that private-sector employees lack. One is the right to “some sort of” hearing before being terminated. A public employee essentially gets the right to challenge the decision to terminate him before it is final. But what happens if the employee signs on to a so-called last-chance agreement?

When deciding who should get the ax during cost-cutting reductions in force, use as many objective factors as possible. For example, use performance measures that include specific achieve­­­ments and rankings based on those achievements.
Q. We have a staff member with body odor so bad that other staff members have complained and even threatened to leave the company. The employee has been disciplined several times and required to go home without pay until she agrees to comply with our grooming code. At what point can we legally terminate her?
To avoid needless litigation, make sure someone else sits in on termination meetings.
Texas public employees who work under a contract don’t have a property interest in that job once the contract expires. That means they can’t sue for deprivation of property.
Make sure you document exactly when and why you decided to terminate an employee, even if you must wait until later to tell the employee.
Employers that willingly hire older employees and later discharge them are unlikely to lose if they later face an age discrimination suit.
Q. Can we rely on a release of all employment claims when terminating a military service member or veteran?

Some employers have strict rules that prohibit supervisors from getting involved in subordinates’ personal problems—or treating them badly. That’s fine. Employers are free to set their own supervisory standards, and a subor­dinate’s behavior doesn’t excuse a supervisor’s out-of-bounds reaction.