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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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If your employee handbook has been gathering dust, now’s the time to update it. Start by doing a quick audit. Spend a half-hour today ensuring your handbook meets these six criteria.
Employees will undoubtedly leave their termination meeting in a foul mood. So, don't give them any reason during that meeting to send them marching to a lawyer's office. As you'll see in the case below, one inflammatory phrase from a supervisor can spark a lawsuit...

You’ve had it up to here. Now it’s time to fire a poorly performing employee. As you’re about to do so, the employee wants to tell you something. But you tell her to “zip it.” Nothing she says will change your mind. As this case shows, you better zip it yourself and listen. Here’s why …

Los Angeles sportswear manufacturer Tapout would have been better off paying up in the first place. All former employee Michelle Thomas originally wanted was overtime pay and some disputed commissions she said she had earned. But now that a California Superior Court jury in L.A. has ruled, Tapout is on the hook for $3.2 million, including $2.4 million in punitive damages.

Hourly employees generally know that if they work overtime, their employer has to pay them for the extra hours. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean employees can work OT whenever they feel like it. Here’s how to end unauthorized overtime:

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.

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.

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