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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Have at least two managers represent the company at any termination meeting. That way, the fired employee can’t make exaggerated claims about what happened during the meeting. Also, decide ahead of time the exact rationale for the discharge and then stick with that one reason.

A female firefighter in Highland Village has filed a lawsuit accusing the municipality of sexual harassment and retaliation following her firing in November 2008, after she filed internal and state complaints.
Employees who believe they work in a hostile environment can quit and claim they were “constructively discharged,” arguing that no reasonable person would stay and suffer intolerable conditions. But when an employer responds to a resignation with entreaties to stay, chances are the employee will have a hard time arguing things were so terrible she had to quit.
Here’s a bit of good news for HR professionals who worry that they aren’t conducting perfect investigations. Courts just want to see employers act reasonably. That doesn’t mean investigations must prove employee misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 ...
Minnesota’s personnel record rules can cause problems for employers that don’t operate primarily in the state. For example, employers that aren’t used to the rules may not realize that employees can challenge the truthfulness of information in personnel records and then sue for defamation.
Apple Computer’s hip youth culture may have met its match in Michael Katz, a former employee who is suing the company for age bias.

Fired employees often sue, alleging that they were treated less favorably than other employees outside their protected class. To prove that in court, employees have to show that the other employees committed the same violation or mistake and weren’t fired. That’s hard to counter if your records aren’t clear and complete.

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.

It’s a legitimate workplace fear: Someone with emotional or mental problems will act out against co-workers. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly. Most of the time, threats of violence are just words. But words are enough to justify firing an employee who expresses intent to do harm, because of the fear that it instills in others.

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