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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!

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If you have a progressive discipline system that gives poor performers or rule breakers a chance to reform, be sure your policy includes an escape hatch that lets you skip steps when necessary.
A federal court interpreting Pennsylvania law has concluded that firing a worker for calling in a complaint to OSHA provides protection under the public-policy exception.
Government employees have more protection from termination than most private-sector workers do. Example: They have the right to comment on matters of public concern without being discharged for doing so.
Trying to fire a worker who has made discrimination claims against her supervisors? Think about assigning an impartial fact-finding decision-maker before you discharge.
When an employee is fired for violating the terms of a noncompete, he won’t receive unemployment compensation because he committed willful act of wrongdoing, which bars benefits. It doesn’t matter if the employee’s supervisor was involved in the breach.
When an employer is found to have discriminated against a worker who was terminated, two big questions arise: whether the remedy will be reinstatement or payment of so-called front pay—the amount the employee would have earned had he not been fired.
The problem: A terminated employee fails to return company equipment, such as a laptop. How do you get it back? You have different options to consider, depending on your state’s laws.
Internally reporting illegal activity may amount to whistleblowing and may protect the worker from discharge, even if the employer has seemingly legitimate reasons for otherwise firing the worker. That’s one good reason to consult your attorney before terminating a worker who may be a whistleblower.
An employer with operations in another nation may be able to push any employment-related litigation away from the United States even if some decisions were made in the United States at, for example, corporate headquarters.
When Minnesota public employees are reinstated following arbitration of a disciplinary case, the employer may still move to prevent reinstatement under the concept of public policy interest. That’s especially true for law enforcement employees accused of using excessive force.
“Vent letters” are becoming more prevalent in the modern workplace. Here are some tips to help deal with this new trend, from attorney Adam Bartrom of Barnes & Thornburg.

If possible, the same manager who made the hiring decision should also make the firing decision. That’s because presumably a manager wouldn’t hire someone knowing they belonged to an obvious protected classification and then turn around and fire that person because of that status.

Some former employees who sue over alleged discrimination try to discredit their employers’ explanations for discharge. Even so, employers have a great deal of flexibility about how they explain the reason an employee was fired.

Employers that have well-documented business reasons for every discharge typically win lawsuits that allege discrimination. Good records force employees to prove that an allegedly legitimate reason for firing was a pretext for covering up discrimination.

A federal trial court hearing a Texas case has concluded that employers can’t use expert testimony to tell a jury that a discharge was justifiable based on a review of a worker’s employment records. That’s for a jury to decide.

Former employees who sue over their discharge sometimes try to use their employers’ shifting explanations for the termination as evidence that they were fired for discriminatory reasons.

Employees with disabilities who are also eligible for FMLA leave have limited protection from discharge if they miss work because of complications related to their disabilities. However, employers also have a legitimate right to expect workers to show up for work most of the time.

Employees can’t quit and claim constructive discharge just because conditions at work became uncomfortable. But what level of discomfort is required?

Workers who are fired for breaking a workplace rule generally aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s because rule-breaking may constitute willful misconduct, which bars benefits.

Former “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor alleges his firing from Minnesota Public Radio was completed without a proper investigation of sexual harassment allegations made against him.

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