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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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When an employee tries to challenge his employer’s decision to discharge him based on some form of discrimination, he has to show that the reasons for the firing weren’t legitimate. It’s not good enough to knock down just one of the reasons. He has to show all of them were suspect. That’s why it’s important to document in your files each legitimate discharge reason—at the time you make the decision.

Can a simple inquiry about discrimination become the basis for a lawsuit? No, according to the 11th Circuit.

Last year, U.S. employees filed the second highest number of EEOC complaints claiming they suffered discrimination at work. You know that U.S. anti-discrimination laws require treating all applicants and employees equally. But do your organization’s supervisors understand the relevant laws? Pass along this primer on federal anti-bias laws to make sure your compliance efforts start right on the front line.

Can an employee you never fired sue you for a discriminatory termination? Oddly enough, yes. Under some circumstances, an employee can quit and claim she was “constructively discharged.” To do so, she has to show conditions at work were intolerable. And now a federal court has concluded that cutting someone’s pay can be an intolerable condition.

A former public works department employee has filed sex discrimination charges against the borough of Roselle—and now she’s added a breach-of-contract lawsuit that offers lessons for HR professionals.

Especially in a lousy economy, fired employees will look for a reason to sue. You must be able to defend every discharge against possible discrimination and retaliation claims. The only safe approach is to document that you treated every employee equally. You simply can’t cut slack for one employee and not another.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected a retaliation lawsuit that alleged reverse discrimination at Capella University, the nationwide online institution of higher learning based in Minneapolis.

The EEOC has filed suit against Hyundai Ideal Electric in Mansfield for allegedly firing a woman in retaliation for complaining about a pay disparity. Tabitha Wagner, a drafter, complained that she earned less than a similarly situated male drafter with less seniority. In the suit, Wagner claims she complained to HR Manager Jon Shearer on Nov. 11, 2008. Shearer terminated her the next day.

Some supervisors wrongly assume that employees who quit can’t sue because they weren’t fired. That’s not true. An employee who finds conditions so intolerable that he or she has no choice but to quit can sue and allege termination. Fortunately, courts expect employees to have relatively thick skins. Workplaces will never be perfect and courts don’t expect them to be.

When employees are fired for absenteeism, they may be quick to point to unequal treatment, saying other workers kept their jobs but were absent more often. One way to avoid such claims is to install a point system to punish absenteeism, terminating employees who accumulate too many points.

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