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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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Employers have a right to defend themselves if an employee sues them for discriminating in a way that inflicts emotional distress. Now a court has agreed that employers are entitled to see medical records dating back two years from the time of the alleged discrimination that the employee says triggered the emotional distress.

It’s a legitimate workplace fear: Someone with emotional or mental problems will act out against co-workers. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly. Most of the time, threats of violence are just words. But words are enough to justify firing an employee who expresses intent to do harm, because of the fear that it instills in others.

A female firefighter in Highland Village has filed a lawsuit accusing the municipality of sexual harassment and retaliation following her firing in November 2008, after she filed internal and state complaints.

Some employees gripe all the time. You know them: They’re the ones who regularly appear in your doorway, ready to file yet another complaint with HR about supposed unfair treatment and discrimination. No matter how groundless, look into their claims.

Employees who believe they work in a hostile environment can quit and claim they were “constructively discharged,” arguing that no reasonable person would stay and suffer intolerable conditions. But when an employer responds to a resignation with entreaties to stay, chances are the employee will have a hard time arguing things were so terrible she had to quit.
Employers have an obligation to try to prevent harassment when it erupts. But courts often give an “A” for effort. They won’t measure your efforts solely by whether your prevention strategy worked.
Here’s a bit of good news for HR professionals who worry that they aren’t conducting perfect investigations. Courts just want to see employers act reasonably. That doesn’t mean investigations must prove employee misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt.

North Carolina has stringent rules to ensure that employers test their employees for drug use in an accurate and reliable way. The law requires retaining enough of the blood or urine sample so a second test can be conducted if necessary. However, the law doesn’t require employers to tell employees about their retesting rights.

Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.
Apple Computer’s hip youth culture may have met its match in Michael Katz, a former employee who is suing the company for age bias.
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