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!

Lots of employers have no-fault attendance policies, which allow a certain number of unexcused absences without any documentation and then punish employees who go beyond allowable limits. No-fault policies are fine … as long as they don’t penalize workers for taking time off that’s protected under the FMLA.

Believe it or not, some employees are under the impression they can use FMLA leave during the summer months to care for their minor children instead of sending them to summer camp or day care. That’s not true unless the child has a serious health condition that prevents participation in camp or day care. Otherwise, parents are expected to make conventional child care arrangements during the summer.

Q. After a recently terminated employee sued our company for discrimination, we undertook a forensic examination of her work-issued laptop. We found, saved in the cache of the web browser, e-mails she sent to her attorney from her web-based, personal and private e-mail account. Can we use these e-mails in the lawsuit?

Online social networking sites provide a variety of benefits to organizations. They can help you collect industry-based knowledge, reach new customers, build your brand and publicize your company’s name and reputation. But those benefits come with their fair share of legal risks. You need a comprehensive social media policy to guide employees on your expectations about their online behavior.

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. What should you do if you learn one of your employees brandished a gun and threatened suicide, but a doctor released him back to work? Shouldn’t you be concerned about safety? What other kinds of liability might you face?

A good sick leave policy includes rules governing how employees are supposed to let their employers know that they’re ill. Employees generally have to follow those rules or face discipline. But there are circumstances under which employees may be excused from following the rules. One of those exceptions: when the employer has direct notice that the employee is ill and may need FMLA leave.

Former University of South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt has sued the university and its foundation, claiming his contract was improperly terminated. Leavitt lost his job last January after allegedly grabbing a football player by the throat and hitting him.

Employers can use no-fault attendance policies as a way to control absenteeism. There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of no-fault programs, which allow a certain number of unexcused absences without any documentation, and then punish employees who go beyond allowable limits. But before you fire an employee for breaking your absenteeism rules, carefully consider whether he is eligible for FMLA leave.

Every year, employers face yet another increase in their health insurance premiums. And if there are many older or sick employees, those costs will keep on rising. Even adding one sick child to the list can drive costs into the stratosphere. But before you even consider firing (or refusing to hire) someone because they might jack up insurance costs, count your dollars, not your pennies. You might be staring down a lawsuit that could dwarf whatever premium costs you hoped to avoid.

Before terminating an employee who has recently filed a discrimination claim, consider whether the timing may provoke a retaliation lawsuit. Generally, the closer in time to the complaint a termination occurs, the more likely a court will order a jury trial. You may still terminate the employee—if you’re sure that’s appropriate.