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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 recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision highlights unexpected problems employers can face when gay employees are harassed because of their sexual orientation. The case—Dawson v. Entek International—illustrates what can go wrong when harassment occurs, HR is slow to respond and retaliation is alleged.

The typical retaliation scenario involves an employer firing an employee who has complained about discrimination or engaged in some other protected activity. What happens, however, if the employer retaliates after the end of the employment relationship? Do the anti-retaliation laws cover allegations of post-employment misconduct? The short answer is yes.

You hear a lot about bullies and bullying these days, especially in schools. But bullies grow up. If they’re not stopped, they bring intimidation and violence into the workplace. What’s worse, some of them will become supervisors. If you get wind of a potential bully boss, here’s what to do:

Sometimes, it’s useful to ask for an employee to comment on allegations that could lead to his discharge. For example, in the following case, the employer was about to fire a worker for omitting prior employment from his job application. Before doing so, the employer directly asked if that had, in fact, happened.

It almost always makes sense for the same manager who hired a member of a protected class to also terminate that employee if necessary. Courts presume that someone who is prejudiced would not hire someone who belongs to a protected class, only to turn around and fire the same employee due to prejudice.

Jewel-Osco—the conglomerate that owns the Supervalu, American Drug Stores and Jewel Food Stores chains—has agreed to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging it violated the ADA when it terminated employees after their medical leaves of absence ended.

Do you live in fear of being sued for discrimination? Don’t let it compromise your legitimate decisions. If you’re confident that you have good reasons to fire someone, don’t worry about whom you hire to replace that employee. Even if the replacement is outside the fired employee’s protected class, she probably won’t be able to successfully sue you.

Employees sometimes quit and claim they had no choice because work conditions were so terrible. Sometimes, they sue. In most such cases—the argument is called “constructive discharge”—courts side with employers, provided there’s no evidence the employee suffered an adverse employment action such as a transfer, demotion or pay cut.

A former secretary at a Nacogdoches vehicle dealership says the sexual harassment there was so severe she had no choice but to quit. That’s the definition of “constructive discharge,” and it’s the basis of the lawsuit Jennifer Burch has filed against Eastex Tractor & Powersports.
Q. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements we have with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change?
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