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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As a general rule, you should only discuss a worker’s termination with those who really need to know about it. That’s especially true in sensitive cases involving alleged fraud, theft or falsifications. You don’t want to lose a defamation case because a manager decided to make an example of a fired employee.
You can reasonably expect em­­ployees to cooperate with internal investigations so you can get all the facts and make well-informed decisions. You can and should discipline workers who won’t assist.
Some employees just aren’t team players. In some jobs, that doesn’t really matter. But in others, it does—and employers have the right to expect employees to get along with others, including their supervisors. If they can’t or won’t, it’s perfectly legal to terminate for insubordination.
Some workers believe they are golden as soon as they complain about supposedly illegal employer actions. You can and should punish any be­havior you would have punished if the employee had never complained. That includes terminating an em­­ployee for post-complaint insubordination.

You might assume that someone won’t sue if they’ve been accused of sexual harassment by several employees and cited for poor performance. You could be wrong. That’s why you should document every discharge decision as if you expect a lawsuit.

Employers don’t have to be absolutely right before disciplining an employee. They merely have to investigate first.
The NLRB has ordered a New York City tour bus company to reinstate a tour guide who was fired because of what he wrote on Face­­book. The board ruled that his postings were protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act.
If you think an employee has broken a rule, ask her. If she admits she did, that’s reason enough to terminate her. Just make sure you ask the question of every suspected rule-breaker before disciplining them.
If you have a poor-performing worker but don’t want to fire him before you have lined up a replacement, make sure you document all the problems—and your efforts to get him up to expectations.

You just found out that an em­­ployee who’s out on medical leave—with severe restrictions on his activities—recently participated in a running event. What should you do? Think twice before you say, “Fire him!” That could cause lengthy and needless litigation.

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