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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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Looks like the National Basketball Association will make up for time lost to the lockout by playing on both the basketball and legal courts for the next few months. A former NBA security official claims his firing last summer was retaliation for reporting sexual harassment incidents.

Minneapolis-based grocery chain Supervalu faces a lawsuit from a former employee at a distribution center in Pennsylvania. Long-time employee Terri Wolfinger claims the company changed the lifting requirements in her job description to prevent her from returning to work after she injured her arm.

To prove age discrimination, a fired employee must be age 40 or older and show that she was replaced by someone under 40 who was less qualified. Marcy Starnes, who managed the Carmel Cinema in Putnam County, didn’t have to look far to find her replacement. It was her daughter.

Under Minnesota’s Whistle­­blower Act, employees who report alleged employer wrongdoing to their employer or the government are protected from retaliation. Those employees don’t have to be right about their allegations—they just have to act in good faith. If their allegations have an “objective basis in fact,” they are protected by the law.

Some employees facing criticism will own up to the problem and work to improve. Others simply refuse to recognize that their per­­formance is subpar or contributing to discord in the workplace. Either way, it’s worth at least ex­­tend­­ing to the employee a chance to improve and keep his job—after you have docu­mented the nature of the problem.

Smart employers use a variety of methods to prevent age discrimination and other claims. Such mechanisms don’t happen by accident, but require careful attention to detail and a comprehensive hiring and firing program.
Here’s something to remember the next time you agonize over discharging an employee for breaking a rule: While you should treat all employees honestly, you don’t have to conduct a mini trial to determine “guilt.” It’s enough to believe you had a legitimate reason to fire the employee—even if it later turns out you were wrong.
How to avoid the two most common pitfalls in writing performance reviews.

Sometimes, layoffs are inevitable … and they’re always a legal minefield. Get it wrong and your attorneys’ fees can easily exceed the labor costs you hoped to save. Decide who should go in much the same way you decide who to hire. Look at the jobs that will survive and select the employees who best fit those jobs.

If you're relying solely on your memory to evaluate employee performance, you're making appraisals far more difficult than necessary. That's why it's best to institute a simple recording system to document employee performance. The most useful, easy-to-implement way is to create and maintain a log for each person. Follow these six steps:

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