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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Typically, employees who file discrimination lawsuits try to show they were treated poorly because of preconceived notions about their protected category (age, religion, sex, disability status, etc.). But be aware of this twist: Stereotypes that seem positive at first blush can also be the basis for discrimination claims.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month widened the circle of people who can bring retaliation lawsuits under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. As a result, HR and supervisors everywhere must be extra cautious about handing out discipline or terminations that could be construed as some sort of retaliation.

Every once in a while, an employee is such a pain in the neck that a manager wishes he would just quit. Methodically, the boss makes life increasingly difficult for the problem child. Finally, the employee resigns. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Now the employee can sue, claiming “constructive discharge.”

Some employees think that once they are approved for FMLA leave, they don’t have to follow the same rules as other employees when they’re away from work. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, employers are free to create call-in policies that require employees who are going to be absent to phone daily—and they can include employees on FMLA leave in that policy.

Employers have a right to defend themselves if an employee sues them for discriminating in a way that inflicts emotional distress. Now a court has agreed that employers are entitled to see medical records dating back two years from the time of the alleged discrimination that the employee says triggered the emotional distress.

Employers and employees have the right to a safe work environment free from violence or direct threats of harm. Punishing an employee who puts others in danger or creates widespread fear is not only appropriate, but essential. That’s true regardless of the underlying reason for the threatening behavior. You can discipline the employee, no matter why he misbehaved.

Effective Jan. 1, Illinois employers must comply with the Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act, which severely restricts the use of an applicant or employee’s credit history in hiring, firing or promotions. Covered employers may not use credit reports or credit information from sources other than credit reporting agencies when evaluating employees or applicants.
When the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s board of directors fired Executive Director Carl Greene, board members probably thought the move would end the serial litigation that marked his tenure. Wrong. Press reports last year linked Greene to a series of sexual harassment cases that—along with allegations of mismanagement—led to his firing last year ...

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.

Some managers worry needlessly that they will be sued for discrimination if they fire an employee—especially one who acts as though she has a chip on her shoulder. But as long as an internal investigation finds that the employee hasn’t been discriminated against because of a protected characteristic, you likely have little to worry about.

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