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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Remember this the next time you have to terminate an employee: If you plan to prepare a post-discharge summary, don’t succumb to the temptation to add new reasons to justify the firing. Post-discharge memos should simply describe the decision and how you carried it out, not look like an attempt to justify a decision made earlier.
Q. Is there a law that requires a 45-day waiting period from the time employees are told they’ll be laid off until they receive the severance payment? My supervisor said it’s called a cooling-off period.
Here’s a practice you should make standard operating procedure: Have the same manager who makes hiring decisions also make the firing decisions. Doing so will cut the chances of a successful discrimination lawsuit.
Q. I just terminated an employee and it was an ugly, public scene. Do you have any tips for making termination meetings easier?
The recent 7th Circuit decision in Lindsey v. Walgreen Co. addresses the cat’s paw theory of liability in the context of an age discrimination claim. The court held that a supervisor who decided to fire an employee was not the “cat’s paw” because she did not rely solely on the employee’s allegedly biased supervisor.

The EEOC has sued an East Texas health care company for firing a housekeeper after learning she was pregnant. The federal agency sued Murphy Healthcare, which operates Frankston Healthcare Center, for firing Myesha Kerr, allegedly because it was concerned that she would be required to perform heavy lifting and be exposed to toxic chemicals.

Employees who experience retaliation after complaining about bias can sue and win, even if it turns out there was no basis for the original discrimination complaint. The retaliation doesn’t even have to be something serious such as a demotion or firing. It can be something as subtle as lost training opportunities.

A state appeals court has dismissed an employment discrimination case because the parties had signed an agreement that required disputes go to binding arbitration rather than court.

Terminating employees is never easy. Not only do you have to think about the employee’s reaction and those of co-workers who may be worried about their own jobs, you also have to worry whether the employee will sue and how to minimize the risk. One area you have control over is making sure that every terminated employee receives legally mandated termination notices. Here’s a quick guide.

Q. We want to fire a bad worker, and we don’t want to take an unemployment comp hit. Under California law, when can a terminated worker be denied unemployment benefits?
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