Only once did I ever fire someone “on the spot.” I was a manager at a large law firm, and had an employee who thought she could get away with anything. Let’s call her Sue.Because we were dealing with a massive litigation case at the time, we had mandatory overtime. In fact, employees were required to be there from 8am until midnight six days a week. They were well compensated for this, including meals being reimbursed up to $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner, every day, and overtime being paid at 3x base salary instead of 1.5x, because of the massive amount of time required. Additionally, for every 2 weeks worked, 8 hours of paid time off were applied to their pot, for as long as they remained with the firm. (That is, if they resigned or were terminated, that accrued time was forfeited, as a way to keep the employees motivated and honest.) During this time, however, they were PROHIBITED from taking any time off for about a 9 month period, except for verifiable emergencies, the employee was required to bring a doctor note, ER discharge, something verifying the “emergency,” beyond just word of mouth.Sue took as much time in breaks, as she spent time working (literally, every 30 minutes she was off for another one for 15 minutes. Like clockwork.) Because of the hours, employees were granted 15 minutes every 2 hours without any approval ‡ they just needed to notify a leader that they would be away for a few minutes. If they needed more breaks due to a medical issue, they could request them with proper documentation. Since there is no “medical need” to smoke, she couldn’t even try this.Approved lunch was one hour and was PAID. By the end of that 60th minute, employees were expected to be back at their desk, ready to start again. Sue believed she had some seniority privilege that would allow her more time. She believed she could come back, then go for another smoke break.For dinner, also one hour but UNPAID, she did the same thing, somehow thinking that she was eligible for her “next” break the moment she returned to her desk, all the while not realizing that she had already taken more breaks than were approved.Well, Sue liked her time off. Right before the Christmas holiday the year she was fired, she decided to call in sick. This was also pay day. She called off sick, then waltzed in to pick up her check. I had to politely tell her that since she was not “at work,” she could not pick her check up until the next work day. (Perfectly legal, since she called off “sick.”) So, I advised her she is “under review,” and she must pass her performance review in order to receive her annual bonus and raise, and that if she did not pass this review, she would be on probation, and could be terminated for even the slightest of things. (*Note: I would not be the person evaluating her for the performance review ‡ that would have been a manager of another department. Just for neutrality, we did not review our own employees. However, if it was a review precipitated by some action, managers COULD direct what were to occur based on the results of the review.)Well, Sue went all Sybil on this. I thought her head was literally going to start spinning and spewing green stuff she was so furious and demonic in her statements. She then began threatening me, that I “didn’t know who I was screwing with.” She then used a couple of pejoratives that brought the situation to a climax. I went into my office, notified my supervisor, HR, and security, and then told her she was terminated, effective immediately.She actually had the gall at this point to demand pay for her accrued time. Needless to say, we reminded her of her contract and that the accrued time was forfeited if terminated.She attempted to sue both me and the firm over this, citing wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual harassment, but needless to say, suing a law firm, especially pro se, is a tough feat. By the time it went to court, we had documented all of her breaks that she put in to be paid for, her excessive time on meal breaks, and filed a countersuit. We found that she was paid $30,000 in time not worked. (Employees were being paid $22 per hour, and $55 for OT.) In short, she got smacked with a judgment of $75,000, after court costs and attorney fees.A month later, she was in a major car accident and was paralyzed. The firm chose to waive the judgment out of kindness and compassion.