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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Businesses come and go, especially during tough economic times. But sometimes companies just change names and corporate status, while essentially remaining the same entity. That doesn’t mean their legal obligations just disappear.

Most lawsuits are not triggered by great injustices. Instead, simple management mistakes and perceived slights start the snowball of discontent rolling downhill toward the courtroom. Here are 12 of the biggest manager mistakes that harm an organization’s credibility in court.

Employees can’t be deprived of FMLA leave as long as they meet the law’s requirements for length of employment and hours worked and must deal with their own or a family member’s serious health condition. After FMLA leave has been approved, it’s a huge mistake to question employees about how they use their leave. Essentially, doing so may be interpreted as interference with the right to take leave.

What if you suspect a supervisor/subordinate relationship, but the two people deny it? You probably can’t do anything more than reiterate your workplace rule against it. If it turns out the supervisor lied, you can certainly terminate him or her—both for breaking the rule and then lying about it.
The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.  With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?

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.
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