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!

The federal government has answers for terminated workers who are concerned that their COBRA continuation health insurance coverage may soon get more expensive or expire all together. As federal subsidies for COBRA coverage start running out, be ready with information when your former employees call.
Western Illinois University has settled a wrongful discharge claim with former head football coach Don Patterson, who lost his job after learning he had cancer.

Make it a policy to keep it confidential when conducting internal investigations into discrimination or harassment. That way, rumors and exaggerated claims won’t influence other employees who haven’t yet told investigators their side of the story. Employers that terminate employees for violating that confidentiality needn’t worry that doing so is retaliation, at least according to a recent 11th Circuit decision.

Many employers use a point system to punish absenteeism, firing employees who accumulate too many points. Such a system negates the need to track the total number of hours of work an employee misses, since the employer is counting points rather than time.

Employees who are punished for complaining about alleged illegal discrimination can sue for that retaliation. And they don’t have to show that actual discrimination took place—just that they believed in good faith that it did. Still, that doesn’t mean that every vague complaint can be used as the basis for a retaliation claim.

The University of South Florida has settled a discrimination claim brought by an academic advisor who was fired just 10 months shy of vesting her pension following a 30-year career with the Tampa-based university system.

Common sense says that if a manager hires someone knowing that she belongs to a protected class, the manager probably won’t turn around a few months later and fire the new employee because she belongs to that protected class. That’s why you should make it a policy that the same managers who make hiring decisions also make termination decisions.

Q. An employee worked for us for years, took four years off to have a child and was rehired nine months ago. She asked for time off because her child needed surgery. We refused because we thought she was not FMLA-eligible. After we terminated her for an unauthorized leave of absence, we received a nasty letter from her attorney threatening to sue us for violating her rights under the FMLA. Who’s right?
The oil-field communications company RigNet faces a lawsuit alleging it fired an injured field technician after he filed for workers’ compensation benefits.
Before you approve a termination based on an employee’s apparent violation of an unwritten rule, decide whether the reason can stand up to scrutiny.