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When firing, choose words carefully, stick to performance

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Employees who have just lost their jobs usually leave their termination meetings in a foul mood. So, don’t give them any reason during that meeting to send them marching to a lawyer’s office. As you’ll see in the following case, one inflammatory phrase from a supervisor can spark a lawsuit.

Case in point: During his termination meeting, an employee repeatedly asked why he was being fired. Finally, the employee was told that it was due to his “criminal lifestyle.”

That phrase angered the employee, causing him to run out and sue for defamation.

The appeals court tossed out the lawsuit, saying that managers who are simply responding to “Why was I fired?” questioning shouldn’t be placed on the hook for defamatory claims. (Charles v. Florida Department of Children and Families)

While the employer in that case won on a legal technicality, it still had to spend big bucks defending the lawsuit in court. The manager could have preven...(register to read more)

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