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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When an employee sues you and you know or suspect he may be mentally unstable, it’s tempting to dig for mental health records—perhaps to question his credibility. But if the employee isn’t claiming mental damages, don’t count on even accessing those records.

Last year, the EEOC handled more complaints than ever, and employers paid out a record $404 million. Topping the list of EEOC claims: retaliation. Preventing retaliation will be a focus of the HR Specialist's LEAP Conference, set for March 30-April 1 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas.

Have you ever thought of not hiring an applicant because he or she had previously declared bankruptcy? Maybe you thought that was discriminatory. But a court last month said, “Don’t worry.” Private employers won’t violate the U.S. Bankruptcy Code if they refuse to hire. But firing based on bankruptcy status is another story …

Spring cleaning? Be sure to dust off and update your employee handbook too. Pay attention to this important point: When it comes to discipline policies, give yourself some flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. Steer clear of complicated policies that try to categorize every conceivable offense for which employees could be fired.

Many companies design succession plans so they can spot the next generation of leaders early and develop current employees to their full potential. If your organization is involved in such a process, step back and look: Does everyone who is tapped for special treatment come from the same race or gender? Or does the chosen group exclude older workers or the disabled?
The Supreme Court's latest unanimous employment-law opinion found that two biased supervisors conspired to get HR to fire someone. The lesson is clear: HR must independently check supervisors’ disciplinary recommendations to ensure they have no ulterior motives.

Unfortunately, lawsuits often come down to one person’s word against another’s. That’s powerful incentive for a company rule requiring at least two managers to participate in a termination meeting. Also, decide ahead of time the exact rationale for the discharge and then stick with that reason.

Q. Is there a law that says we must abide by a 45-day waiting period between 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. Is this a federal law?
Employee claims of job discrimination to the EEOC spiked above 99,000 last year, the highest total ever. On Jan. 11, the EEOC released more details, and those numbers yield three important lessons for employers:
Protesters have been picketing some of Minnesota’s 50 Chipotle restaurants after the McDonald’s-owned company fired hundreds of workers—mainly Latino—because they lacked proper documentation. The firings followed an audit by ICE officials, which have now expanded to other Chipotle restaurants nationwide.
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