Firing at Will shows managers and employers how to do the most difficult part of their jobs: firing employees. Written by a leading employment lawyer in a refreshingly unlawyerly style, this guide takes the reader through the always-risky process of letting an employee go. Many employers and managers are afraid to pull the trigger when the employment relationship has broken down, and will postpone the decision by using progressive discipline and performance-improvement plans. However, an employer must be able to unload employees who threaten to undermine the company and its prospects, regardless of the risks involved in a termination. This book explains how to do it, how not to do it, and how to minimize the danger of an expensive employee lawsuit.
No one said being an employer or a manager was easy. Fortunately, knowing how to fire employees will make your job much, much easier in the long run and save you heartache. Firing at Will teaches you what you need to know, without any legalese or boring recitations of statutes and case law. This book is filled with plain-English common sense, based on Jay Shepherd's 17 years of protecting employers in court. The style is conversational and often irreverent, but the lessons and tips are battle-tested. If you want to be a successful manager or employer—and sleep easier—you need to know how to fire at will.
Gives employers and managers real–world advice on how to fire employees
Teaches how to keep your company–and yourself–out of expensive employee lawsuits
Guides you toward building a workplace where you'll need to fire fewer employees
What you'll learn
How to make the ultimate decision to fire an employee, and how to carry out that decision
The 30 riskiest employees to fire
The critical "Retained Dignity" factor, and why you need to keep it as high as possible
Why progressive discipline and performance appraisals are ineffectual
How your hiring methods and decisions can help you avoid firing employees later
How to have "gruntled" employees who wouldn't dream of suing you
Who this book is for
Firing at Will is a handbook for managers, employers, business owners, human resources professionals, and in-house counsel. Most of these readers will have had very little training in the hows and whens and whys of firing employees. Most people just follow their instincts, often leading to disastrous consequences. For anyone who has the responsibility of hiring and supervising employees, Firing at Will gives guidance and direction to lower the risks of employee terminations.
Table of Contents
- About the Author
PART I: The Risks of Firing
- CHAPTER 1: “At Will” Is Alive and Well
- CHAPTER 2: The Freedom to Fire
- CHAPTER 3: Risky Business
CHAPTER 4: The 30 Riskiest Employees to Fire
- 1. Female Employees
- 2. Pregnant Employees
- 3. Recently Pregnant Employees
- 4. Employees on Family or Medical Leave
- 5. Employees Just Back from Family or Medical Leave
- 6. Employees Who Recently Asked for Family or Medical Leave
- 7. Older Employees
- 8. Employees Who Are a Different Race from Most
- 9. Employees Who Are a Different National Origin Than Most
- 10. Employees Who Are a Different Religion from Most
- 11. Employees Who Are a Different Ethnicity from Most
- 12. Employees Who Have a Disability
- 13. Employees Who Have a Mental Disability
- 14. Employees Who Are Thought to Have a Disability
- 15. Employees Who Associate with Someone with a Disability
- 16. Employees Who Are Alcoholics
- 17. Employees Who Are Gay or Lesbian
- 18. Employees Who Are Transsexual
- 19. Employees Who Have Ever Complained About Discrimination
- 20. Employees Who Were Sexual-Harassment Victims
- 21. Employees Who Are Veterans or Active Service Members
- 22. Employees Who Didn't Get Paid for All Their Time Worked
- 23. Employees Who Didn't Receive All Their Overtime Pay
- 24. Employees Who Are About to Receive a Bonus, Commission, or Option Grant
- 25. Employees Who Ever Complained About an Illegal Practice
- 26. Employees Who Have Criminal Records
- 27. Employees Who Have Drug Problems
- 28. Employees Who Are Involved with Union Organizing
- 29. Employees Who Are Related to, Friendly with, or Live Near a Lawyer
- 30. Employees Who Are Fired with Less Retained Dignity Than They Could Have
PART II: The Whys and Hows of Firing
- CHAPTER 5: Why Me?
CHAPTER 6: How to Fire an Employee
- Don't Fire Angry!
- Is There a Preferred Time or Day for Firing?
- Where Do You Do It?
- Should You Have Witnesses?
- What Do You Say?
- Is Honesty the Best Policy Here?
- Do I Have to Give the Employee Something in Writing?
- Is It Ever Appropriate to Fire Someone by Phone, Letter, or E-mail?
- Telling Coworkers
- Letting the Person Resign
- How Much Notice Should You Give?
- Transition Time
- After the Termination Meeting
- What About the Final Paycheck?
- Vacation: All I Ever Wanted
- Release Me
- CHAPTER 7: Retained Dignity
- CHAPTER 8: The Paper Trail
- CHAPTER 9: Second Chances & PIPs
- CHAPTER 10: Sign of the Times
PART III: The Worst-Case Scenario
CHAPTER 11: Discrimination Cases Part I
- Vocabulary Lesson: A Tort
- The Best Kind of Claims for Employees
- What Is a Discrimination Claim?
- Who Can Bring a Claim?
- How an Employee Wins
- Getting Inside the Employer's Head
- Anatomy of a Discrimination Case
- Filing a Charge
- The Employer's Position Statement
- Agency Investigation and Discovery
- Probable-Cause Determination
- Public Hearing
- CHAPTER 12: Discrimination Cases Part 2
- CHAPTER 13: A Big Payday
- CHAPTER 14: He Said, She Said
- CHAPTER 11: Discrimination Cases Part I
PART IV: Lowering Your Risks
- CHAPTER 15: Lawyering Up
CHAPTER 16: Throw Out Your Personnel Handbook
- The Trouble with Policies
- Playing Defense Instead of Offense
- The Better Part of Valor
- Employees Are Individuals, Like It or Not
- Focusing on a Technicality
- You Can't Plan for Everything
- Better Off Without the Handbook
- A Matter of Trust
- Treating Employees Like Children
- The World's Shortest Employee Handbook
- But It's the Law
- CHAPTER 17: Hiring to Avoid Firing
- CHAPTER 18: Gruntled Employees
PART V: Appendixes
- APPENDIX A: Firing Checklist
- APPENDIX B: Firing Around the World
- APPENDIX C: Sample Documents
- Title: Firing at Will: A Manager's Guide
- Release date: November 2011
- Publisher(s): Apress
- ISBN: 9781430237389