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Terminations

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When terminating for insubordination, thwart lawsuit by lining up witnesses

01/01/2016

Always document (in great detail) the incident that prompted a firing. Also, gather as many eye­­witness accounts as possible. More witnesses equal a better foundation for your case.

Can we fire employees we just learned are registered sex offenders?

12/16/2015
Q. Management wants to implement a zero-tolerance policy with respect to employing registered sex offenders. Recently, we conducted an internal investigation and determined that three current employees are registered sex offenders. Management wants to terminate those employees immediately. Is that legal?

Boss comments don’t excuse employee violations

12/09/2015
Supervisors sometimes make comments that in retrospect may have been insensitive. That doesn’t mean an employee has a “get out of jail free” card for misbehaving. You can still discipline an insubordinate employee.

Risky firing? Consider quick reinstatement

12/09/2015
Sometimes, you realize you made a mistake with an employee. When that mistake could be fixed with a prompt offer to reinstate a fired worker, it’s best to make the offer sooner rather than later. As one employer recently learned, waiting until after the jury tells you how much you owe in future lost wages will be too late.

How to handle recently uncovered work problems

11/23/2015

Sometimes, it looks like an employee has been performing just fine—until someone discovers that her work was really subpar all along. Before you discipline or fire the worker, document what you discovered (and when) so you can explain away prior good performance reviews.

Dishonesty at any level? You can fire

11/13/2015
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

11/03/2015
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

10/28/2015
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

10/28/2015

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

10/20/2015
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.
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