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 70
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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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Employers get lots of leeway when it comes to terminating employees. For example, courts generally uphold firing someone for breaking a rule as long as the employer reasonably believed the employee broke the rule—even if it turns out he did not. But when it looks as if the employer tried to trick the employee into breaking a rule, judges won’t look the other way.

Employees who take FMLA leave to deal with their own serious health condition are entitled to reinstatement to their jobs or substantially identical ones when they return. But what if the employee isn’t ready to come back after 12 weeks? In that case, employers don’t have to reinstate the employee—at least not under the FMLA.

Here’s something to remember when you’re worried about firing someone because you might get sued: Judges don’t want to run HR departments. As long as HR acts honestly and believes the employee should be fired because she broke a company rule, chances are a lawsuit won’t ­succeed.

Some employees are less than honest about their absences. From the “Monday morning flu” to claiming time off for nonexistent medical treatment, employees can get creative. But what can you do if you find out later that an employee has lied to get time off? Fire him for misrepresentation.

Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.
Employers that can show they fired an employee for violating a company policy will generally win any subsequent lawsuit—if they can show they reasonably believed that’s what happened. It doesn’t matter if later it turns out the employer was wrong.
Here’s something to consider when terminating an older employee, while leaving younger ones in place: If your organization is sued, don’t expect the case to be tossed early on. Instead, brace for protracted litigation.
According to the EEOC, leave may be a reasonable accommodation. If you fire disabled employees without at least considering time off as an accommodation, you might be sued.
An employee who won a discrimination case after he filed an appeal has lost his second appeal. He had claimed it wasn’t enough that a lower court had ordered almost one million dollars in back pay. He said he should have been promoted, too.

Employers have a tough call to make if an employee lands a short jail sentence. Discharging the worker may be the best option. But leniency may be more appropriate in other situations. If you can explain why you treated convicted employees differently, you should be legally OK.

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