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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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“If HR stays on the transaction side, we’ll be out of business in 10 years,” said Conrad Venter, global head of HR at Deutsche Bank. “Business leaders will say.… ‘Where’s the value?’” and choose to outsource those transactional duties."
Q. One of our employees filed a sexual harassment complaint against another worker. After interviewing both parties, we are unable to resolve the credibility conflict. We asked the accused co-worker to take a polygraph exam, but he refused. Can we fire the employee for refusing to take the lie detector test?
If you terminate an employee the day he comes back from FMLA leave, plan on getting sued. Timing alone can be enough for the court to let a jury decide the case. That’s true even if your past practices in similar cases don’t show any pattern of FMLA interference.
Water-cooler talk about alleged discrimination or harassment can poison a workplace. That’s why your company policy should require all participants in investigations (including witnesses) to keep quiet about the issue. That way, rumors and exaggerated claims won’t influence other employees who haven’t yet told investigators their side of the story.
Employees can take job-protected FMLA leave for "serious health conditions." But take note: Cosmetic surgery only counts as a serious condition in very rare cases ...
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one tough wage-and-hour law. Playing with it can create drama and cause trauma—especially when it comes to paying overtime or, in a case this week, not paying overtime…

Remind supervisors to avoid comments that could be interpreted as pushing soon-to-retire workers out the door. If an older employee has to be terminated, a supervisor’s not-so-subtle hints at retirement will make it easier to persuade a court that age was the supervisor’s true reason for the firing.

Besides implied contracts, federal laws, state statutes and court decisions are chiseling away at the at-will doctrine as the number of wrongful-discharge suits spirals higher. Here’s why:

If an employer wants to challenge a request for FMLA leave, it must give the employee 15 days to get a medical certification showing she has a serious health condition. Until the employer makes the request, the 15-day period doesn’t start running. Disciplining or firing the employee before the time is up will most likely be considered an FMLA violation if it turns out the employee really did have a serious health condition.

USERRA provides returning soldiers, sailors and other service personnel with additional employment rights that other employees don’t always enjoy. One of those is the right to remain employed unless fired for just cause. In effect, USERRA temporarily turns what were once at-will employees into employees with job protection.

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