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 North Carolina restaurant is facing an EEOC lawsuit after it disciplined and fired a 79-year-old employee.
Discrimination can creep into the workplace, even if on the surface there’s nothing blatantly offensive going on. There are still supervisors who treat subordinates poorly because of race or some other protected characteristic. That’s why HR should exercise caution before authorizing discipline against an employee who is meeting concrete goals like sales figures, but is being criticized for more general problems.
Some disabled employees never tell employers about their con­­ditions—even if their disability could affect performance. And of course you know you shouldn’t treat employees as disabled unless they claim a disability. But what if you fire someone for poor performance?
Q. I would like to fire an employee who is unpleasant to work with. We simply don’t “click.” Do I have to have cause to terminate him?
Employees fired for willful misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. If you terminate someone for breaking a workplace rule, be prepared to prove that the employee knew about the rule and understood it.
A white man who was fired from his management position at a McKinney manufacturer is suing his former employer for reverse discrimination, claiming he was let go to clear the way for a black employee to take the job.

No one likes being accused of a criminal offense if they are innocent. Be careful about making such accusations publicly—you could end up being sued for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t investigate apparently missing funds and similar, possibly criminal cases.

Here’s an important reminder for HR professionals handling em­­ployee discipline: If the disciplinary process is well under way—and you believe that the proposed discipline is fair, reasonable and based on facts—there’s no need to stop the process just because the employee files an internal discrimination complaint.
Here’s another reason to have privacy and confidentiality rules: Em­­ployees who violate those rules in order to gather evidence for a lawsuit they have filed can be disciplined.
Let’s face it: It makes a manager’s job harder when employees are out on FMLA leave. That’s especially true with intermittent leave. Don’t let those hard feelings turn into an FMLA interference lawsuit. Instead, insist that managers honor approved intermittent leave without hassling the employee.
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