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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Los Angeles sportswear manufacturer Tapout would have been better off paying up in the first place. All former employee Michelle Thomas originally wanted was overtime pay and some disputed commissions she said she had earned. But now that a California Superior Court jury in L.A. has ruled, Tapout is on the hook for $3.2 million, including $2.4 million in punitive damages.
A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision highlights unexpected problems employers can face when gay employees are harassed because of their sexual orientation. The case—Dawson v. Entek International—illustrates what can go wrong when harassment occurs, HR is slow to respond and retaliation is alleged.

Hourly employees generally know that if they work overtime, their employer has to pay them for the extra hours. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean employees can work OT whenever they feel like it. Here’s how to end unauthorized overtime:

Sometimes, it’s useful to ask for an employee to comment on allegations that could lead to his discharge. For example, in the following case, the employer was about to fire a worker for omitting prior employment from his job application. Before doing so, the employer directly asked if that had, in fact, happened.

It almost always makes sense for the same manager who hired a member of a protected class to also terminate that employee if necessary. Courts presume that someone who is prejudiced would not hire someone who belongs to a protected class, only to turn around and fire the same employee due to prejudice.

Jewel-Osco—the conglomerate that owns the Supervalu, American Drug Stores and Jewel Food Stores chains—has agreed to settle an EEOC lawsuit alleging it violated the ADA when it terminated employees after their medical leaves of absence ended.

Do you live in fear of being sued for discrimination? Don’t let it compromise your legitimate decisions. If you’re confident that you have good reasons to fire someone, don’t worry about whom you hire to replace that employee. Even if the replacement is outside the fired employee’s protected class, she probably won’t be able to successfully sue you.

Employees sometimes quit and claim they had no choice because work conditions were so terrible. Sometimes, they sue. In most such cases—the argument is called “constructive discharge”—courts side with employers, provided there’s no evidence the employee suffered an adverse employment action such as a transfer, demotion or pay cut.

A former secretary at a Nacogdoches vehicle dealership says the sexual harassment there was so severe she had no choice but to quit. That’s the definition of “constructive discharge,” and it’s the basis of the lawsuit Jennifer Burch has filed against Eastex Tractor & Powersports.
Q. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements we have with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change?
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