Facts and Myths behind Employee Terminations

by on May 29, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

How well do you know the laws on employee terminations?

  1. In most states an employee who’s fired can sue for emotional cruelty.
  2. Myth. State laws on infliction of emotional cruelty require that the employer do more than fire someone to be liable. If an employer taunted an employee while firing him, for example, there might be a case

  3. The best way to avoid a discrimination lawsuit when dealing with employee terminations is to threaten a countersuit.
  4. Myth! The best way to head off a lawsuit is to thoroughly document the performance- or behavior related reasons for the employee terminations.

  5. You can’t terminate an employee without putting the person through the steps of your progressive discipline process first.
  6. Myth. A well written policy on discipline/termination will make clear that while progressive discipline is the norm, you reserve the right to fire employees without it when necessary.

  7. It’s a good idea to document especially carefully when terminating a member of a “protected class.”
  8. Fact. Air-tight documentation is desirable when firing anyone who could bring a discrimination lawsuit – because of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, etc.

  9. At-will employment allowing employee terminations for any reason or none is the rule in all 50 states.
  10. Myth. Montana has a law protecting anyone who has finished a probationary period from being fired other than for cause.

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