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!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Nothing wins lawsuits like good records. Tell all managers and supervisors that HR won’t approve any disciplinary action without a copy of the documentation used to justify the decision ...

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was enacted in response to concerns that insurers and employers could use results of genetic testing to discriminate against applicants and employees. Covered employers should consider updating their employment policies and practices to comply with GINA’s many technical requirements.

After taking a back seat to other employment issues on the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda, the “cat’s paw” theory of liability may well be coming back into the spotlight, and employers better be ready. Whether or not Staub v. Proctor Hospital reaches the Supreme Court, the case should be a wake-up call: Cat’s paw cases are out there and they can lead to protracted, costly litigation.

Are you planning a reduction in force due to the poor economy? If so, double-check who is going to lose their jobs, paying particular attention to whether the burden falls predominantly on workers over age 40. If that is the case, make absolutely certain you have legitimate business reasons to back up your decision to fire them.

In California, you can’t terminate employees for coming forward to press for enforcement of wage-and-hour claims, even if it turns out the claims were unfounded. That’s because California law strongly supports employee rights to get all the pay they’re entitled to, and efforts to punish employees who are wrong would chill efforts to challenge their employers’ pay policies.

Layoffs are difficult for employees and employers alike. In these tough economic times, some employers are trying to help employees during layoffs and help prevent the permanent loss of good employees by implementing supplemental unemployment benefit plans.

Sometimes employees believe that reporting potential wrongdoing by their employers or fellow employees means they can’t be punished. In effect, the assumption is that being a whistle-blower gives them a pass and protects them from adverse employment actions, such as termination. That’s simply not true.

If you have a robust anti-harassment policy and act fast to stop co-worker sexual harassment, you usually won’t be liable for that harassment. But that doesn’t mean you must automatically fire everyone who harasses a co-worker. You can use a more measured approach, including warnings and counseling. If that doesn’t work, then it may be time to terminate the perpetrator.

If an employer decides to deny a fringe benefit to an employee, and the employee challenges the decision, courts must at least consider the possibility that a conflict of interest exists. That’s because anytime an employer decides to provide a benefit, that benefit comes at a cost.

Here’s a rule of thumb to follow: An alleged harasser should have no part in a later termination decision involving his or her accuser. Giving the alleged harasser any role in the firing is almost certain to spur a retaliation lawsuit, even if it turns out the harassment claim doesn’t stick.