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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Employees are protected from retaliation for complaining about alleged discrimination. The complaint is considered protected activity. Something as simple as calling a supervisor to complain about a co-worker’s racial slur is protected.
Former employees have deadlines for filing complaints over their termination or other employment discrimination claims. In most cases, they have to act within 300 days. Missing the deadline means they ­forever lose the right to sue.

Some employees will never be happy and seem to do everything possible to interfere with a normal, well-functioning workplace. When that’s the case, don’t hesi­­tate to terminate the disruptive worker. Just make sure you document her shortcomings.

Support any adverse job action, such as a demotion or termination, with solid business reasons. Clearly and contemporaneously document your decision to act. That way, you can come to court prepared to explain exactly why you did what you did and when you did it.
As a general rule, you should only discuss a worker’s termination with those who really need to know about it. That’s especially true in sensitive cases involving alleged fraud, theft or falsifications. You don’t want to lose a defamation case because a manager decided to make an example of a fired employee.
You can reasonably expect em­­ployees to cooperate with internal investigations so you can get all the facts and make well-informed decisions. You can and should discipline workers who won’t assist.
Some employees just aren’t team players. In some jobs, that doesn’t really matter. But in others, it does—and employers have the right to expect employees to get along with others, including their supervisors. If they can’t or won’t, it’s perfectly legal to terminate for insubordination.
Some workers believe they are golden as soon as they complain about supposedly illegal employer actions. You can and should punish any be­havior you would have punished if the employee had never complained. That includes terminating an em­­ployee for post-complaint insubordination.

You might assume that someone won’t sue if they’ve been accused of sexual harassment by several employees and cited for poor performance. You could be wrong. That’s why you should document every discharge decision as if you expect a lawsuit.

Employers don’t have to be absolutely right before disciplining an employee. They merely have to investigate first.
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