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 often reveal their true feelings during an exit interview, and they frequently wind up burning bridges in the process. Smart employers take notes during exit interviews, especially if they hear something that makes them wonder whether the employee should ever have been hired in the first place, let alone rehired for any future openings.

Unfortunately, many lawsuits come down to one person’s word against another’s. That’s powerful incentive for a company rule requiring at least two managers to participate in any discharge. Reason: They can back each other up.
Former Baytown municipal employee Richard Hensley is suing the city, arguing that a negative performance appraisal he received reflects a pattern of discrimination against older workers. The lawsuit argues that the city of Baytown routinely replaces older employees with younger, unqualified replacements.
A former employee of H&W Industrial Services in Longview is suing the painting and cleaning contractor for sexual discrimination and harassment after a supervisor allegedly made comments about her sexual orientation.

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.

Here’s a bit of good news for employers that must terminate some of their employees because the IRS says their Social Security numbers are invalid. If they stage an unfair protest against their firings, you can sue them to stop.
Be prepared to be creative when business necessity forces changes that will eliminate a position held by an older employee. When that’s the case, consider offering the older employee alternative positions. If she declines to take comparable jobs, document it. That refusal will make it next to impossible for her to win an age discrimination lawsuit.
Does your call-in policy demand that employees contact their supervisors daily when they’re out sick? If so, can you still require that of employees who are out on FMLA leave? Here’s what a ruling last week said …
If an employee has a disability it’s like they become untouchable, right? Wrong! As one court recently noted, following your policies consistently can be a lifesaver against claims of discrimination—even when terminated employees are in protected categories…
Suppose an employee tells you she needs to take a leave of absence due to an illness. Such leave could be covered under the FMLA. Her absence may cause you scheduling problems and extra work. That may be frustrating, but do your best not to show any emotion. Here's why.
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