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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!

Employees sometimes think taking FMLA leave—or even just asking for the time off—protects them from being disciplined or discharged. But Congress never intended the FMLA to act as a shield against legitimate discipline that’s unrelated to the leave. That’s why you’re free to discipline or discharge employees if you can prove you would have taken the same action regardless of the FMLA leave or request.

The new FMLA regulations say employers can enforce their usual call-in rules, such as requiring employees to call in before missing a shift. That rule change made employers rejoice, assuming they could safely discharge employees who didn’t show up and didn’t call in. But a new case calls that assumption into question.

By now, you should have an electronic communications policy and know to block computer access to newly terminated employees. But it’s also wise to prohibit current employees from forwarding e-mails from the company computer to their personal e-mail accounts outside the company.

Do you have ready access to your organization’s discipline records? Can you say with certainty that everyone charged with the same misconduct receives the same punishment? Or is there bias hiding in those records? The best way to check is to group discipline by type of misconduct and punishment ...

Some employers foolishly worry that they may violate the ADA or the FMLA if they enforce a zero-tolerance policy that forbids employees to work under the influence of alcohol. The simple reality is that employers have every right to expect workers to show up sober in the morning. Furthermore, being an alcoholic is no excuse.

2009 was a watershed year for disability discrimination. The EEOC received a record number of disability-related charges – 21,451. What’s the reason for the spike in discrimination claims? The Americans With Disabilities Act Amendment Act. With the EEOC in charge of suing to force compliance, you need to know the answers to these eight questions.

As we enter a new decade, HR must pay more attention than ever to employment law issues. Reason: new laws taking effect, increased agency enforcement, more lawsuits spurred by a poor economy and an activist Congress. Here are 10 key trends and how to respond:

HR professionals must make sure that supervisors hear this message loud and clear: Don’t make any assumptions about what a pregnant woman can or cannot do. Voicing such presumptions and taking action based on them virtually guarantees a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

Employees who sue for discrimination have to come up with some evidence before the case can advance beyond the initial stages—and before it gets progressively more expensive for employers paying the legal bill. Employers that fight back right away with statistics showing there was no discrimination can save big bucks in the long run.

If you pay commissions under a written compensation plan that covers commissions earned only while the employee works for your company, be careful how you handle terminations—and discussion concerning payment of further commissions. In some circumstances, you could inadvertently create additional liability for unpaid commissions ...