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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You’ve had it up to here. Now it’s time to fire a poor performing employee. As you’re about to do so, the employee wants to tell you something. But you tell her to “zip it.” Nothing she says will change your mind. As this case shows, you better zip it yourself and listen. Here’s why …
Q. One of my employees has created his own web site and has been posting negative comments about our company. Specifically, he has accused the company of failing to provide adequate benefits and paying below-market wages. Can we fire this worker for this conduct?
Say one of your employees tells the company doctor he’s had “homicidal feelings” and has thought about shooting his supervisor. It seems clear you could fire the employee if you have a zero-tolerance violence policy. But not so fast. As this case shows, if the employee recently filed a discrimination claim, the firing could be viewed as retaliation. Ugh!
Should you establish a zero-tolerance ban on swearing in the workplace? It’s probably not realistic and you may set yourself up for discrimination claims if you clamp down on one employee’s slip-up but not another’s. Instead, establish more general rules that say offensive language and other disrespectful conduct are not permitted, and violators will be subjected to the discipline policy.

When the borough of Netcong implemented a reduction in force, 28-year employee Delores Colabella was the only employee whose position was eliminated. Colabella suspected her termination might have something to do with her age. She’s 72. Now she is suing the borough for age discrimination.

The HR office is often the place where a lawsuit can be prevented. That’s why HR pros must make sure every discharge or other adverse employment decision (demotion, pay cut, etc.) can be successfully defended. Be especially careful if you’re asked to approve a decision that comes closely on the heels of a discrimination or harassment complaint.

Like many municipalities, the city of Latrobe is struggling with falling revenue. City Manager Rick Stadler attempted to address the city’s shortfall by eliminating six clerical positions, while the Office of City Administration cut two staffers. Now all eight employees have requested an EEOC probe into the terminations to determine if they violated anti-discrimination laws.

Two former employees of the Texas Dental Association are $900,000 richer after receiving back pay in a settlement agreement brokered by the National Labor Relations Board.

Some employees are difficult, always skating on thin ice. They’re disruptive, don’t listen to directions and pretty much do whatever they want. Even so, employers often hesitate to fire such troublemakers if they’ve recently requested FMLA leave or claimed to be disabled. Don’t be manipulated into keeping those bad apples.

Managers, supervisors and HR professionals, beware: Courts are cracking down on employers that punish employees who serve in the military. One way is by clarifying that those who participate in hiring and firing decisions may be held personally liable for violating USERRA.
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