Firing — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 120
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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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Before you fire any employee, double-check to make sure others who performed just as poorly or made similar mistakes were also terminated. Doing so may prevent a lawsuit … or, if you are sued, at least provide evidence that you treat everyone alike.

An Alice-based oil field services company has settled a reverse race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The commission filed the suit in 2008 on behalf of Bert Yaklin, a white parts-department employee of Coil Tubing Services, which supports the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana.

Q. What are the deadlines for paying employees who are terminated or resign from employment?

When it comes to termination, courts cut employers lots of slack—if employers can show they sincerely believed they were firing an employee for good reasons. You can show that good faith by having HR review all disciplinary actions, especially double-checking on termination decisions before they are finalized.

Although state and federal laws protect new mothers from discrimination, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled it was legitimate for an employer to fire an employee who did not ask for an accommodation to pump breast milk. The court concluded that the employer didn’t discriminate on the basis of sex, but simply terminated an employee for insubordination.

Some work environments are more at risk than others for sexual harassment to develop and fester. And those employers have a special obligation to look for harassment—and stop it. For example, if a few women now hold jobs traditionally performed by men, make sure the women aren’t being subjected to sexually demeaning or offensive conduct.

Businesses and nonprofits that receive taxpayer money and contract with government agencies to provide services may be prohibited from using religious criteria in hiring and firing. And hiring on the basis of someone’s religious beliefs or affiliation may be proof that an employer has crossed the line.

Employees who complain about discrimination are protected from retaliation—but not from every consequence of their complaint. Take, for example, what often naturally occurs when someone files a harassment complaint that turns out to be unfounded or unworthy of drastic action like firing the alleged harasser. There’s bound to be backlash from other employees ...

Generally, employees can appeal if they’re denied unemployment compensation because they were fired for cause. To win, they must show they were fired without just cause. However, the rules change when an employee is fired for a positive drug test.

An employee who has been discharged may go looking for some underlying reason other than poor performance to explain why she got the ax. And she may suddenly remember incidents that now seem awfully a lot like sexual harassment. Your best defense to such charges is a robust harassment and discrimination policy that tracks every complaint.

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