Discipline & Termination

Teen’s mom wants more info on firing: Do I legally have to answer her questions?

October 16, 2018
Q. The mother of a 16-year-old whom we fired called me asking for more information on the termination. Must I answer questions?

What if a worker demands to know the reason for their termination?

September 20, 2018
Q: “We fired an employee without giving a reason. The employee is requesting the reason in writing. Do we have to comply? Also, we just learned that the new supervisor of the employee never met with the employee to discuss the employee’s position description or the supervisor expectations. The supervisor issued the employee a corrective action. In addition, the employee filed a complaint against someone in senior management. The complaint was never investigated. The employee was terminated the next day after filing the complaint. Is there any liability on the agency?” – Anonymous, Virginia

Is it legally safe to terminate an employee soon after they refuse a relocation?

August 28, 2018
Q: “If we’ve verbally notified an employee (three months ago) that their job is moving (due to restructuring/reorganization) to another state, effective next month—and the employee refused the job/relocation (first right to refuse), what is the risk if we lay off the employee now?”

Firing: When and where?

June 21, 2018
Firing employees is part of your job. And it’s never easy. But you can make it more bearable by choosing where and when to do the job.

Issuing an oral reprimand

June 20, 2018
The first step in formal disciplinary action is an oral reprimand. Before you take this major step, however, be sure of the facts.

When the attire is much too casual

May 17, 2018
If your company doesn’t have much of a written dress code, you still need to address those whose attire crosses the careless and inappropriate line. You’ll know it when you see it. Here’s how to handle it.

3 bad behaviors you may be missing

December 22, 2017

Negative employee behavior doesn’t have to be truly egregious (e.g., abusive or insubordinate) to hurt your team. Seemingly minor or innocent actions can cause big conflict. Here are three common—but often ignored—problem behaviors.

Go ahead, let them move the goal post!

November 13, 2017
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Fired for her one-finger salute to Trump: Does she have a case?

November 9, 2017
A Virginia woman created a social media storm last month when she was photographed giving the presidential motorcade the middle finger while riding her bike. When she notified her bosses at Akima, a federal contracting firm, that she was the woman in the photo, they instantly fired her and escorted her out.

How to question a witness about a workplace incident

October 11, 2017

In questioning someone, you suddenly gain power over that person … and it’s incredibly easy for that to go wrong.