Firing — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 62
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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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Employees who have lost their jobs have very little to lose and everything to gain by suing their former employers. Your best defense when firing: Al­­ways carefully document a performance-related reason for the termination. That will trump all but the most egregious cases of supervisory expressions of bigotry.
Never ignore an employee lawsuit, even if you think it is frivolous. In­­stead, prepare to defend yourself as soon as possible. That way, you can push for a quick dismissal if it’s clear the employee has no case.
Here’s an important reminder for HR professionals handling em­­ployee discipline: If the disciplinary process is well under way—and you believe that the proposed discipline is fair, reasonable and based on facts—there’s no need to stop the process just because the employee files an internal discrimination complaint.
Think twice before firing a good employee who has complained. If she can prove she earned excellent reviews and had good attendance, she may win a jury trial based on timing alone.
Some disabled employees never tell employers about their con­­ditions—even if their disability could affect performance. And of course you know you shouldn’t treat employees as disabled unless they claim a disability. But what if you fire someone for poor performance?

Most lawsuits are not triggered by great injustices. Instead, simple management mistakes and perceived slights start the snowball of discontent rolling downhill toward the courtroom. Here are 12 of the biggest manager mistakes that harm an organization’s credibility in court.

Employees can’t be deprived of FMLA leave as long as they meet the law’s requirements for length of employment and hours worked and must deal with their own or a family member’s serious health condition. After FMLA leave has been approved, it’s a huge mistake to question employees about how they use their leave. Essentially, doing so may be interpreted as interference with the right to take leave.

What if you suspect a supervisor/subordinate relationship, but the two people deny it? You probably can’t do anything more than reiterate your workplace rule against it. If it turns out the supervisor lied, you can certainly terminate him or her—both for breaking the rule and then lying about it.
The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.  With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?

You never appreciate a good performer until you’ve fired a bad performer. That’s because bad performers take so much time and attention to manage. From the moment you sense that an employee isn’t working out—and you set in motion disciplinary steps—you have to imagine a judge and jury watching your every move. That way, you can stand behind your actions without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

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