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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!

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.

Offering an employee a severance payment in exchange for releasing any legal claims won’t be used against you. Courts want to encourage dispute settlement—and if severance offers could be used against employers later in court, cases would rarely be settled.

Sometimes, you have to take a chance on a job applicant because the candidate pool isn’t filled with as much talent as you would like. Everyone knows picking a marginal candidate can turn out to be a mistake. If you find you have to terminate such an employee, have the same person who made the hiring decision also make the termination decision. That reduces the chance of a costly 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 ...