Firing at Will: A Manager’s Guide

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

  1. Introduction: The Hardest Part of Your Job
  2. “At Will” Is Alive and Well
  3. The Freedom to Fire
  4. Risky Business: The Perils of Employee Lawsuits
  5. The 30 Riskiest Employees to Fire
  6. Why Me? The Reasons for Firing
  7. How to Fire an Employee
  8. Retained Dignity
  9. The Paper Trail
  10. Second Chances and PIPs
  11. Sign of the Times: Layoffs
  12. Discrimination Cases: Part 1
  13. Discrimination Cases: Part 2
  14. A Big Payday: Wage Cases
  15. He Said, She Said: Sexual Harassment
  16. Lawyering Up
  17. Throw Out Your Personnel Handbook
  18. Hiring to Avoid Firing
  19. Gruntled Employees
  20. Appendix B: Firing Around the World
  21. Appendix A: Firing Checklist
  22. Appendix C: Sample Documents

Book Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (November 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430237384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430237389
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