Dishonesty at any level? You can fire

Employees terminated for dishonesty aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. And being dishonest can involve breaking company rules to gain an advantage even if there’s no direct theft involved. Just be sure that before you terminate the worker for breaking the rule, you document the incident and can explain why you believe she acted dishonestly.

Don't tolerate threats--even from disabled

While some disabilities may make it more difficult for workers to control their temper or otherwise respond to nonverbal cues, that doesn’t mean those workers are excused from complying with behavioral rules. You can and should punish anyone who makes workplace threats regardless of disability status.

Firing? Never blast the departing employee

When announcing a termination, make sure no one says anything that’s potentially defamatory. Keep the announcement professional and don’t make gratuitous comments, no matter the reason. Tell only those who need to know why the firing happened.

Be prepared to comply with Minnesota's requirement to explain involuntary termination


Minnesota employers have to walk through a minefield in order to terminate someone. Consider, for example, what might happen if the newly discharged employee asks for a written explanation of her termination. Offer one that’s less than honest, and you may be violating Minnesota’s Section 181.933.

The Cat's Paw Theory of discriminatory firing

Under what’s called the Cat’s Paw Theory, employers can’t defend themselves against employment discrimination claims by saying they didn’t know a supervisor was biased.

No call is willful misconduct, means no unemployment

When an employee is fired for failing to follow call-off procedures when sick, he may lose unemployment benefits. That’s because violating the rules constitutes willful misconduct.

Believe employee lied? That's grounds for firing

You have the right to expect honesty from your employees. You can fire if you reasonably believe an employee lied about an absence, knowing that you are on safe legal ground if the employee sues.

Parking employee fired for venting at grief session

After a young, inexperienced driver for the Philadelphia Parking Authority accidentally ran over and killed a fellow employee, managers convened a grief counseling session. An already difficult gathering took a turn for the worse when the grief counselor asked for ideas on how to prevent such accidents ...

Insubordination is in the eye of the employer

Think an employee is acting disrespectfully? Firing him for insubordination will probably stick.

Anticipate lawsuit by offering second chance, fresh supervisor to struggling employee

If a marginal employee is having a hard time getting along with his boss, think about giving him a second chance with a new supervisor. It may help—and it won’t hurt if you still end up firing the employee.

Progressive discipline can help win bias suits


Discharged employees often sue, counting on their protected status—based on race, sex, national origin and so on—to create the impression that they were fired for discriminatory reasons. That’s why it’s important to use a progressive discipline system. It lets you counter discrimination allegations with solid, documented performance or behavior problems that warranted discharge.

5,000 terminations, 0 lawsuits: Her 7-step plan for success

An interview with Charlotte Miller, a former state bar president, corporate general counsel and currently the senior VP of People and Great Work for O.C. Tanner, reveals her strategy for litigation-free terminations.

In Dakota County firing, good HR results in bad PR

Dakota County’s community development director was recently fired amid allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment. Once word got out that the county intended to terminate him, reporters clamored for details. County officials delayed, noting that the director would remain on the payroll for 60 days following their decision. The county then extended his contract for another week ...

Stop bogus suits with good discipline records


It happens regularly: An employee is facing escalating discipline and fears for her job—so she files a surprise sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit, hoping to stop her firing. But you can fire her—if you can provide complete disciplinary records to justify that the decision had nothing to do with her complaint.

Before firing, investigate discharge recommendation

If you rely on a boss to make a firing recommendation and don’t independently investigate, you risk terminating someone because of the supervisor’s hidden bias. That can mean a large jury award. At least give the employee a chance to tell his side of the story.
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