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Terminations

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Do we have to warn someone before firing?

06/19/2014
Q. Is it OK to terminate an employee without first issuing some kind of a disciplinary warning?

‘Just cause’ clause may stop firing after ‘last chance’

06/16/2014
If your union contract has a “just cause” for termination clause, get the union’s sign-off on a covered employee’s last chance agreement.

Prepare to show you were fair if disabled workers take a hit during RIF

06/16/2014
Sometimes, poor appearances lead to lawsuits. That can certainly be the case when a reduction in force (RIF) seems to disproportionately affect a protected class of workers.

Abused employee: Give her FMLA or let her go?

06/06/2014
Q. An abusive boyfriend sent nude photos of one of our employees to other employees. We’ve deleted everything from our server and blocked his email. But now we have complaints from other employees that we should have fired the employee. We did not. In fact, we let her take FMLA leave due to the depression she suffered. How should we handle these co-worker complaints?

In a layoff, must we provide severance pay?

05/28/2014
Q. Our company is going to lay off several employees. Are we required to provide severance pay to those employees? If we provide severance pay, can we demand that employees sign a severance agreement stating that they will not sue the company?

These days, that ‘T’ stands for ‘terminated’

05/27/2014
Recently sacked New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson might be looking ahead to new professional opportunities, but a sign of her tenure at the helm of the “Grey Lady” will always be behind her.

Can we fire employees who collaborated on writing letter complaining about pay cuts?

05/22/2014
Q. We recently notified employees that we will be cutting pay due to difficult economic times. Then we received an anonymous letter expressing concerns about this decision. It suggested alternatives to pay cuts, such as eliminating our employer 401(k) match. We determined that the letter was written by one employee and edited by another. Can we terminate them?

Lying about criminal record? That’s grounds for firing–with no unemployment!

05/22/2014
While most Minnesota employers can no longer ask about an applicant’s criminal record until after the grant of a job interview offer (or, if there is no interview, a conditional employment offer), that doesn’t mean the applicant or new employee can lie about his criminal record later.

Justify RIF by citing business necessity

05/22/2014
Sometimes, it makes sense for a business to reduce costs. One way may be to cut personnel, especially employees who are highly compensated and whose work may be redundant. A danger, of course, is that the most highly paid may be older workers, and terminating them may prompt an age discrimination lawsuit.

Former superstars aren’t immune from scrutiny

05/19/2014
The best approach to dealing with declining performance is careful and meticulous record-keeping showing expectations and how the employee isn’t meeting them. Objective facts trump the employee’s feelings that she is being discriminated against for some reason.
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