5 Top Tips for Letting Employees Go

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on May 05, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

No one likes to be fired and few people like to fire others. But if the firing is tough, the resulting litigation can be tougher. For, as inevitable as terminations are in the business world, they're also often fodder for lawsuits.

As in-house counsel, you can have a role in reducing firing-related litigation and making sure terminations are done right. To help, here's our top firing tips, from the FindLaw archives.

1. 7 Common Employee Handbook Mistakes to Avoid

Before you send off an employee, make sure your employee handbook is in order. Often, courts will view detailed handbooks as creating binding terms and conditions of employment. So, when an employee dispute comes around, your employee handbook can be one of your most important documents -- or a major liability. Make sure your handbook helps more than it harms by avoiding these mistakes.

2. Before You Fire in These Times of Adversity, Give a Little Thought to Diversity

The Great Recession saw nearly nine million Americans lose their jobs between 2007 and 2009. It also saw a massive rise in workplace discrimination cases. And while the U.S. economy has more or less recovered from its near collapse, discrimination lawsuits are still a major risk when terminating employees. A few proactive steps can help you avoid them.

3. 5 Reminders for GCs When Mulling Mass Layoffs

No one wants to fire hundreds of employees at a time. But if you have to, you need to be aware of the major legal and public relations challenges that apply to mass layoffs. That includes making sure you comply with the federal WARN Act, making sure you have proper security, and more.

4. American Apparel Fires Founder Dov Charney ... 5 Years Too Late

Don't forget, it's not just ineffective managers or underperforming salespeople that might need to be let go. Sometimes, you'll need to get rid of those on the top of the company food chain. Nothing demonstrates this better than the case of Dov Charney. Dov founded American Apparel, helped guide it to major success, then watched it nose dive -- in part because of his own bad behavior. Dov was finally ousted in 2014, much later than many wanted.

5. Top 5 Reasons Outside Counsel Are Fired

Hey, no one is immune to potential layoffs, especially not your outside counsel. According to a survey, a massive 30 percent of outside attorneys were fired in 2012. Here's why.

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