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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If you’ve made it this far into the worst economy in decades without experiencing a layoff, chances are you’re out of the woods. Most economists agree that while businesses won’t be hiring much this year, they also won’t be firing much. Could this be the time to ask for a raise?

After two years of cutbacks, 2011 will be a year of rebuilding company-sponsored 401(k) plans—for both employers and employees. But the result could be more flexible, more customized retirement savings plans. Here is a roundup of recent research regarding your employees and their retirement savings plans.

It would be nice if all employees came to work on time, performed efficiently and pleasantly, and were thankful for their paycheck. But employers know that employees sometimes fall far short of your hopes. Here are the steps to work through as you decide how to proceed:
Employers are increasingly using web-based social media—such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—to screen potential employees, in addition to the usual applications, interviews, references, and background, credit and drug tests. But they don’t always recognize the potential pitfalls and risks.
If you think your employees can be an odd bunch, rest assured they’re probably not the weirdest of the weird. The working world is a strange and wondrous place, thanks to the colorful characters that inhabit it. Here are three good examples.
Retail managers often spend most of their time doing the same work that hourly employees do, such as running cash registers. Even so, they may qualify as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Why? It’s the quality of the management work they do that counts, not the number of hours they spend doing it.

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 have quit or requested transfers, find out why. The problem may be a biased supervisor who is pushing away good employees—and setting up the company for a lawsuit.

More and more employees and applicants are filing their own lawsuits and acting as their own attorneys. Traditionally, courts allow these pro se litigants a great deal of latitude simply because they don’t have legal experience. If the following case is any indication, courts are getting tired of the additional drag on their dockets and have begun dismissing lawsuits when it becomes clear a pro se litigant has no case.
OSHA is suing the East Harlem Council for Community Improvement for allegedly retaliating against an employee who complained about unsafe working conditions.

If your organization is unionized and operates under a collective bargaining agreement that calls for progressive discipline, think twice before automatically firing an employee you believe has sexually harassed other employees. Unless your contract specifies discharge for a first harassment offense, you may have to follow your progressive discipline program.

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