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!

Issue: Many HR professionals run one-person departments that struggle to handle up to 150 employees or more.
Benefit: By managing a solo operation well, you illustrate expertise that's attractive to ...

Ever since the EEOC began tracking discrimination complaints, race bias has been the most popular claim. Not anymore. Claims of employer retaliation now top the charts—33,613 claims in fiscal 2009. This means managers, supervisors (and you) need to be more careful than ever to avoid lashing out against employees or applicants who file—or simply voice—complaints of discrimination.

If you grant time off to employees who aren’t yet eligible for FMLA leave, take note: If they’re on your payroll, their time off counts toward FMLA eligibility. That means that once they hit the one-year mark, they become entitled to those 12 unpaid FMLA weeks—and terminating them could launch an FMLA lawsuit. That wasn’t always the case ...

On April 15, President Obama signed into law amendments that extend eligibility for the 65% COBRA subsidy through May 31. The amendments buy time for Congress to consider additional legislation that could keep the subsidy alive until the end of the year.

When it comes to employment lawsuits, HR is a lot like flying an airplane: The most risky parts of the trip are at the takeoff (hiring) and the landing (dismissal). With hiring, you can limit the employment-law risks by following the legally safe steps and training supervisors to do the same.

Sometimes you realize early on that a recent hire is not going to work out. He may have looked good on paper, but isn’t doing well on the job. It may then be time to cut your losses.

Some employees try to fabricate a lawsuit by resigning and then alleging that some form of discrimination made their working conditions so intolerable that they had no choice but to quit. The name of this claim: constructive discharge. Fortunately for employers, it takes more than a few isolated comments to create intolerable conditions. And, as the following case shows, the fear that working conditions will become intolerable isn’t enough to justify quitting before things get bad at work.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that an arbitration agreement presented as a condition of employment is valid even though it was initially drafted by an HR management company that no longer manages personnel matters. The court looked carefully at the arbitration agreement and concluded it was a binding contract—partly because it contained a clause that allowed the employer to end the agreement prospectively only.

When OSHA said it had received an anonymous complaint about safety conditions at one of Brocon Petroleum’s work sites, executives there had a pretty good idea who made the call. So the Freehold-based company fired the employee. OSHA did not take it well ...

Here’s a cautionary tale if you’re tempted to throw together a quick liability release without paying an attorney.