To avoid opening yourself up to litigation, be especially careful about firing someone in one of these situations:
— The employee has prior complaints. The employee has made prior complaints about harassment or your company doing something illegal or wrong, or about safety or health conditions in the workplace.
— The employee is 40 years old or older. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects many workers who are age 40 or over from discrimination.
— The decision to fire the employ is motivated by some other form of discrimination prohibited by law. Make sure the termination isn’t a willful or deliberate attempt to discriminate against a minority.
— The employee has an employment contract. Don´t be caught not knowing your company´s employment rules.
— You´ve made inconsistent promises or statements to the employee. Employees often claim that they were promised job security or a long tenure in wrongful termination lawsuits.
— You´re laying off more than one person at once. You have to carefully avoid any discriminatory pattern in the layoffs.