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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HR pros spend a lot of their time ensuring that their companies comply with the law so they don’t wind up in court and lose big bucks to a jury verdict. But more and more, they find themselves defending not their employers’ bottom lines, but their own bank accounts. How big is the risk? Try six figures—or more.
An employee at Capital Title of Texas refused her boss's request to dye her gray hair and was fired. As you can guess, she sued for age discrimination and is awaiting her day in court … probably in front of a gray-haired judge.
When employees carry a chip on their shoulders, they may see dis­crimination in acts that are simply nor­mal workplace behavior. For­tu­nately, courts won’t allow dis­crimi­nation cases to go to trial if they’re based on nothing more than vague “feelings.”
Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.
Employers that can show they fired an employee for violating a company policy will generally win any subsequent lawsuit—if they can show they reasonably believed that’s what happened. It doesn’t matter if later it turns out the employer was wrong.
Here’s something to consider when terminating an older employee, while leaving younger ones in place: If your organization is sued, don’t expect the case to be tossed early on. Instead, brace for protracted litigation.
According to the EEOC, leave may be a reasonable accommodation. If you fire disabled employees without at least considering time off as an accommodation, you might be sued.
An employee who won a discrimination case after he filed an appeal has lost his second appeal. He had claimed it wasn’t enough that a lower court had ordered almost one million dollars in back pay. He said he should have been promoted, too.

Employers have a tough call to make if an employee lands a short jail sentence. Discharging the worker may be the best option. But leniency may be more appropriate in other situations. If you can explain why you treated convicted employees differently, you should be legally OK.

The 11th Cir­cuit Court of Appeals has refused to recognize veterans as a protected class under either Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act or under the Florida Civil Rights Act. That means claims based on military service must generally be brought under the Uniformed Serv­ices Em­ployment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).