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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Want to avoid needless and ex­­pensive lawsuits? One good place to start is by encouraging respect and civility. That’s because sometimes hurt feelings are enough to spur a lawsuit.

Poor performers facing disciplinary action may despair when they realize they can’t improve fast enough to avoid termination. Often, that’s when they request a transfer to another open position within the organization. But before you agree to a transfer, be sure to demand the employee’s request in writing and outline exactly why the transfer is being arranged.

Much as you would like to, you can’t control every statement that comes out of supervisors’ mouths. Someday, someone somewhere within your organization will utter an ethnic comment or slur. That doesn’t have to become the basis for a successful lawsuit—as long as you have a track record of treating all employees fairly.

Some whistle-blowing employees think they can’t be disciplined if they report alleged wrongdoing to authorities or upper management. That’s not true. Employers can always discipline employees who break rules or perform poorly. The key is fairness and equal treatment.

The federal labor law can be a trap for the unwary—even for nonunion employers. Even if your employees don’t belong to a union, the National Labor Relations Act applies to you. Example: A nonunionized employer now has to pay $900,000 to two fired employees to settle charges that it violated the NLRA. To avoid similar trouble, you must understand this law!

Supervisors sometimes make the mistake—often during the hiring process or after employees pass a 60-day post-hire period—of using the term “permanent” when discussing their jobs. That essentially promises the person a job for life and it can destroy their at-will status.
New York City’s Princeton Club faces a lawsuit alleging it terminated a long-time employee because of her accent. The employee claims the club fired her after nearly 30 years of service because a new general manager found Hispanic accents “embarrassing.”
It’s a free country, right? Em­­ployees can express themselves however they want at work. Wrong. The right to free speech on the job only applies to public employees, and even then there are significant limitations.

Smart employers make sure that no employee is ever punished for taking FMLA leave. They do that by carefully cataloging when every employee takes FMLA leave. And if they must discipline an employee for attendance problems, they spell out the reason why each absence counted toward punishment.

A supervisor asks a worker to move some heavy boxes, which isn’t one of the worker’s usual duties. The worker refuses, claiming physical problems prevent him from doing so. What should the supervisor do? Fire him for insubordination?

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