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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Performance improvement plans (PIPs) can help turn around subpar employees. But if you use PIPs, make sure you implement them equitably. For example, if you place a sales­person on a PIP to raise falling sales, then institute a PIP for everyone whose sales have fallen to the same level. That’s especially important if one of the employees is about to take FMLA leave or is pregnant.

A former employee of Texas Energy Service is suing the company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging it fired him because he is black.

If there’s no use-it-or-lose-it policy in place, employees can easily stockpile weeks of vacation or personal leave. Should they become ill, they may try to use that time as a substitute for FMLA leave. If an employee asks you to approve an especially long vacation, and you suspect the underlying reason may be a covered condition under the FMLA, beware automatically rejecting the request.

Here’s a case that shows you can’t have it both ways. A Texas appeals court has concluded that an employer can’t enforce an employment contract against an employee when that contract specifies that the employee remains an at-will employee.

A former employee at a North Carolina Walmart has lost a novel claim that could have opened the litigation floodgates in North Carolina and destroyed the at-will employment concept. He sued, alleging he had been forced to reveal why he had been fired, which in effect amounted to self-defamation.
Q. I have an employee who is a volunteer firefighter. Although I believe that volunteering is important, his absences to respond to emergencies have disrupted workplace productivity. Can I replace him on this basis?
The former head of security at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens has filed a lawsuit claiming the institution discriminates against blacks, and that he was fired in part because of his age.

Are you hearing that a supervisor is making less than flattering statements about a disabled employee or disabled individuals in general? Then it’s time to call in the supervisor and explain to her it has to stop. That’s especially true if the super­visor happens to have a disabled ­employee under her direction and recommends that the employee should be terminated.

Capping what State House officials called a “collaborative model for other states to follow,” Gov. Pat Quinn signed an education overhaul bill that makes it easier for school districts to fire teachers and strips many seniority protections teachers had. Setting the new legislation apart is the support it garnered from the powerful Chicago Teachers Union.

The EEOC is suing Pantego-based Tideland Electric Membership Corp., claiming it failed to accommodate a disabled employee. Jeffrey Erdman suffers from a chronic pain condition, but with the help of prescription painkillers, he was able to perform his job as an apprentice lineman. However, when Tideland learned of Erdman’s condition and the narcotic prescribed for his pain, it fired him.

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