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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The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected a retaliation lawsuit that alleged reverse discrimination at Capella University, the nationwide online institution of higher learning based in Minneapolis.

When an employee tries to challenge his employer’s decision to discharge him based on some form of discrimination, he has to show that the reasons for the firing weren’t legitimate. It’s not good enough to knock down just one of the reasons. He has to show all of them were suspect. That’s why it’s important to document in your files each legitimate discharge reason—at the time you make the decision.

Can an employee you never fired sue you for a discriminatory termination? Oddly enough, yes. Under some circumstances, an employee can quit and claim she was “constructively discharged.” To do so, she has to show conditions at work were intolerable. And now a federal court has concluded that cutting someone’s pay can be an intolerable condition.

Dillard’s department stores will have to answer in court to charges it discriminated against former area sales manager Virginia Keene because of her age. Working in Cary, Keene was 61 years old at the time the company fired her and replaced her with a 24-year-old with only four months’ experience.

Goldsboro-based construction company T.A. Loving has settled a religious discrimination complaint for $47,500. Elvis Cifuentes Angel and two other workers filed the complaint stating that Loving forced them to work on their religion’s Sabbath. All three workers are Seventh-day Adventists.

Especially in a lousy economy, fired employees will look for a reason to sue. You must be able to defend every discharge against possible discrimination and retaliation claims. The only safe approach is to document that you treated every employee equally. You simply can’t cut slack for one employee and not another.

Some workers decide to provide notice that they’ll need FMLA leave long before they’re even eligible for coverage. When you get such a request, don’t reject it out-of-hand.
Some supervisors wrongly assume that employees who quit can’t sue because they weren’t fired. That’s not true. An employee who finds conditions so intolerable that he or she has no choice but to quit can sue and allege termination. Fortunately, courts expect employees to have relatively thick skins. Workplaces will never be perfect and courts don’t expect them to be.

When employees are fired for absenteeism, they may be quick to point to unequal treatment, saying other workers kept their jobs but were absent more often. One way to avoid such claims is to install a point system to punish absenteeism, terminating employees who accumulate too many points.

If you’re a leader who employs a prima donna (one who produces great results but alienates everyone), what should you do? It’s simple. Bite the bullet and fire that person. Here are three reasons why you should:

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