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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In what could be a groundbreaking case, the National Labor Relations Board filed an unfair labor practice complaint last month against a Connecticut company that fired a worker who complained about her supervisor on Facebook. This is the first case in which the NLRB has argued that workers’ criticisms on social networking sites are protected activity.

Remember the good ol’ days when you could fire someone based on performance? All you needed was proper documentation. Well, those days are over. The U.S. Supreme Court has created a whole new class of plaintiffs—and added an extra step to your termination checklist…
The Supreme Court on Jan. 24 ruled that the fiancé of a woman who filed an EEOC discrimination complaint was protected from retaliation by their mutual employer and can now sue for retaliation. The case has important implications for all employers: It's more important than ever to make sure your discipline policies pass the no-retaliation test.

Retail managers are generally responsible for everything that happens in their stores. But they often spend most of their time doing the same work that hourly employees do. Even so, they may qualify as exempt employees under the FLSA. It’s the quality of the management work they do that counts, not the number of hours they spend doing it.

The federal labor law can be a trap for the unwary—even for nonunion employers. Even if your employees don’t belong to a union, the National Labor Relations Act applies to you. For example, the National Labor Relations Board recently announced that a nonunionized employer will pay $900,000 to two fired employees to settle charges that it violated the NLRA.

Say one of your employees posts vulgar comments on her Facebook page mocking the company or her boss. Other co-workers see it and add their own comments. You have a policy against such actions, so you can fire her, right? Not so fast.
In Hollywood, couples break up every few seconds because of incompatibility. But is “incompatible work styles” a good enough reason to divorce yourself from an employee? This week, one court said it is. However, be aware they will look at your reasoning with caution…

Do you suspect a rogue supervisor is driving away employees belonging to a protected class? If so, begin asking tougher questions during your exit interviews. For example, if several black employees who work under the same supervisor have quit or requested transfers, find out why. The problem may be a biased supervisor ...

Q. I am terminating employees in three states. Is it OK for me to use my standard separation agreement in all three states?

It’s understandable that someone who has had a heart attack and taken time off to recover might assume that he’s disabled under the terms of the ADA. That’s not always the case. As is true of other conditions, it’s only a disability if the heart attack’s residual effects substantially impair a major life function.

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