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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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.
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.

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.
The EEOC is suing Bank of America, alleging it violated the ADA by firing a visually impaired worker after one day on the job at one of its Chicago locations.
Supervisors sometimes say incredibly dumb things. But those remarks won’t necessarily create liability—if you have carefully documented employee performance.
A new law allows the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to levy fines of at least $5,000 against employers that misclassify workers and requires the em­­ployers to publicize their violations on their company websites. Em­­ployers face penalties as high as $25,000 for willfully misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

Under what’s called the Cat’s Paw Theory, employers can’t de­­fend themselves against employment discrimination claims by saying they didn’t know a supervisor was biased. The theory was first introduced in Shager v. Upjohn, a 1990 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

You won’t find many employers extolling the upsides of having a unionized workforce, but there is one advantage. If your union contract provides for a probationary period before an employee becomes a permanent part of your workforce, you may have more discretion in how you discipline the new em­­ployee.
Q. One of our employee’s job performance no longer meets our standards. While she used to be a good worker, she’s now making a lot of errors, coming in late from time to time and not getting along with her co-workers ... If we fire her for poor performance—which we would consider termination for cause—will she be eligible to collect unemployment compensation?
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