TERMINATIONS

Document all the details that influence your decision to discipline

01/29/2016
One of the easiest ways to get in legal trouble is to discipline two employees differently for breaking the same rule.

No employment protection for abuse victims

01/29/2016
A federal court has refused to expand common law workplace protection for victims of domestic abuse.

University budget crisis justified tenure cut

01/28/2016
Professors who teach at public institutions and have tenure are generally protected from job cuts. But under some circumstances, they still may lose their jobs.

Employee claims bias after transgender dispute

01/28/2016
A woman fired from a Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center franchise in Katy, Texas, is suing her former employer after refusing to address a transgender child as a male.

Can you terminate for off-the-clock activities?

01/21/2016
When can you legally terminate a worker for what he or she does on their own time? The answer is an unsatisfying, “It depends.”

Former Highmark exec sues insurer for $32M

01/04/2016
Kenneth Milani, former chief executive officer of Pennsylvania’s largest health insurer Highmark, is suing the company in the wake of his 2012 firing for lying about his relationship with a married Highmark employee.

Contradictory reasons for firing can backfire

01/04/2016
Before you decide to terminate em­­ployees for budgetary reasons, make sure you are prepared to justify that rationale. Otherwise—and especially if you provide other reasons later—your motivation may look suspect if the employee sues.

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.
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