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!

Q. Because of a downturn in our business, we are thinking of eliminating a position. Are we required to offer severance pay to the terminated employee?
If you terminate employees who have used up all their FMLA leave and still can’t come back to work, watch out! Make sure you don’t single out any particular class of employees for firing.

If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to remind everyone in HR to avoid playing down or dismissing the impact of supervisor harassment on employees. It may be tempting to tell a complaining employee that she’s making a mountain out of a molehill. But understand that telling an employee she should get over it and return to work may prompt her to quit—and then sue you.

It often becomes apparent that managers who were supposed to prevent discrimination weren’t doing an effective job. For the good of the company, it’s sometimes necessary to fire those bosses for tolerating discrimination or harassment. And those managers will probably sue, too. Good news: You can cite their attitudes to show they weren’t performing their jobs to your reasonable expectations.

Now’s a good time to remind supervisors and managers that they must keep a cool head if an employee threatens to take a complaint to the EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Angrily accusing the employee of insubordination or disloyalty will probably be viewed as retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

At some point in your HR career, you’ll run into a trainwreck of an employee with problems that just seem to escalate. It may start with a small injury and a workers’ comp claim. That can turn into a dispute over alleged harassment and retaliation. Eventually, she may even claim she has developed deep psychological scars ... If she says she can’t work and has a doctor who supports her, you may be able to use the medical assessment to your benefit.

If you want your organization’s employees to work more productively, pay more attention to them. During the economic crisis of 2009, the most effective business strategy turned out to be increased supervision and management of employees.

Employees who are fired shortly after complaining about a manager’s supposed discriminatory attitude may assume that the complaint led to the termination. And they’re almost sure to sue. To stop such lawsuits from going far, make sure the manager in question has nothing to do with the final decision to terminate. That’s good advice even if you don’t think he or she did anything wrong.

Plenty of managers feel like they’re between a rock and a hard place because they have someone on their team who produces great results but alienates almost everyone around them. They're prima donnas! If you have a prima donna on your team who keeps playing games, bite the bullet and fire the person. Here's why.

Most lawsuits are not triggered by great injustices. Instead, simple management mistakes and perceived slights start the snowball of discontent rolling downhill toward the courtroom. Here are 6 of the biggest manager mistakes that harm an organization’s credibility in court. Use these points as a checklist to shore up your personal employment-law defense: