FIRING

Fired for insubordination? No unemployment benefits

04/15/2014
Employees have to abide by reasonable rules whether they like them or not. Insubordination remains a reason to deny unemployment compensation to terminated workers.

Beware firing worker who moonlights while out on medical disability leave

04/14/2014
It may seem wrong for an employee who is out on disability leave to work another job. But firing her for allegedly lying about her medical condition may backfire in the form of a disability or retaliation claim.

Spontaneous wage protest: Can we fire the agitator who stirred up his co-workers?

04/14/2014
Q. We are a nonunion company with a call center employee who has been stirring things up. Recently, he and a large group of first-shift employees stayed in the parking lot instead of coming back from lunch on time. A few of them held up signs saying, “Fair Wages Now!” We’d like to fire the bad apple. Are we taking any big risks if we do?

Gather examples if you decide to fire because worker isn't a 'team player'

03/31/2014
Some jobs require co-workers to get along and support one another. An employee who isn’t a team player may cause enough problems to warrant termination. But “team player” is a subjective term.

Negotiating return to work? Don't rush firing

03/27/2014
Sometimes, employees end up on unpaid leave after complaining about discrimination. Then the employee’s lawyers try to negotiate a settlement that includes returning to work. If you turn down such terms, make sure you get clarification on whether the worker will return even if you don’t meet her demands.

No matter how complicated the firing, have a rational explanation for decision

03/25/2014
A messy termination doesn’t have to mean losing a subsequent lawsuit. Just be proactive, figure out what happened and document the underlying discharge reasons. They’re probably in plain sight, despite the drama.

'Resign or be fired': Humane offer or a risky ultimatum?

03/24/2014

Have you ever presented an em­­ployee the option to resign or get fired? Doing so today just may fall under the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category. As this new ruling shows, such ultimatums might ultimately give you ulcers in court under the “ultimatum theory” of liability ...

How can we fire a poor performer--who up until now has earned glowing reviews?

03/17/2014
Q. We recently hired a new manager in an underperforming division. After getting to know her team, the manager wants to fire an employee for poor performance. But, the employee has only had glowing performance reviews under his previous manager. Can we go ahead with the termination?

Easy way to head off discrimination suits: Have manager who hired also do the firing

03/13/2014

Here’s a good practice that may limit lots of lawsuits following terminations: If possible, make sure the same person who hired a worker also fires him. That makes it more difficult for an employee to argue he was fired for discriminatory reasons.

Clerk fired after telling Gov. McCrory, 'Thanks for nothing'

03/07/2014
Governors might think they have a thankless job, but being told that directly can still sting. Gov. Pat McCrory recently found out exactly how thankless the job can be.

When criminal records are at issue, prepare to explain rationale for firing or not hiring

03/06/2014

Employees who lose a job often don’t believe the discharge reason their employer provides. They look for some apparent underlying illegal discrimination and sue. Smart employers are ready to explain the entire discharge process from beginning to end.

Document exactly why you fired troublemaker

03/06/2014
Do you have an employee who is so disruptive that co-workers repeatedly complain? You may have to fire her. Before you do, carefully document how her behavior negatively affects the workplace and what rules she is breaking.

Call for back-up! When escorting employee from premises, don't go it alone

02/18/2014

Here’s a bit of practical advice for that rare occasion when you may have to escort an employee off the premises: Make sure to have a second person there to help you. There’s credibility in numbers.

Stick to your story: Shifting explanations for terminations are lawsuit red flags

02/18/2014

One of the worst things you can do when you fire an employee is to provide shifting explanations for the discharge. The best approach: Talk to your lawyer before you terminate, to clarify exactly what your reasons are.

Consistency is key when firing for performance

02/14/2014
Poor performance sounds like a legitimate reason to fire someone. That doesn’t mean the employee won’t sue. If that happens, you must be prepared to show that other em­­ployees who held the same position and had similar performance issues were also terminated. If not, you had better be able to explain why.
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