Terminating Employees the Proper Way

At some point, every employer is faced with the unpleasant task of terminating an employee. Whether for poor performance or a necessary workforce reduction, employee terminations must be handled with care. There are many legal issues involved with a termination which can arise if it is performed improperly and without the proper documentation. Employers should use caution to follow the proper protocol any time that a termination of employment is required at their business.

Document Deficiencies
Terminating an employee for failure to perform their duties requires significant care in documenting their inability to perform. This documentation is vital to support a defense in case the employee claims discrimination or files a lawsuit. Documentation should be written and contain information about the specific violation or deficiency, when it occurred and the repercussions being implemented because of it. It is vital that both the employee and their supervisor sign this document. A copy should also be provided to the employee for their files.

Additionally, these incident reports should be consistent with any previous documentation about the employee, such as annual performance reviews. A stellar performance review followed by a sudden write-up for nonperformance is a red flag for terminated employees and their lawyers.

Allow for Problem Resolution
Many employment terminations are called into question when employees claim that they were terminated for something they didn't even know about, such as a required job task or qualification. This potential legal issue can be avoided by adding a section the incident report. After documenting a violation by an employee, define a game plan for remedying the situation such as additional training. Additionally, set a defined time frame for re-evaluating the employee to ensure that the deficiency or violation has been resolved. 

Don't Beat Around the Bush
When a termination is inevitable, some employers attempt to ease the sting by sidestepping the real reason. Some may say that they are laying off multiple employees when the real reason is poor performance. Employers must not only tell the employee the real reason for termination but should also supply it in writing. Be sure to specify the specific company policy that the employee violated or the area in which they are deficient in. 

Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
All too many employers find themselves enmeshed in complex and costly litigation because they've made simple, avoidable errors while terminating one of their employees. Even if you've done everything by the book, there will never be a guaranteed way ...
It's just a fact that employers, especially those in highly competitive industries, must have a striking benefits package to remain competitive in attracting and retaining the best employees. You probably spend a great deal of time and money providin...
Cybersecurity is an important concept for all employees to prioritize. New hires are especially vulnerable. These tips ensure your new employees are prepared to prioritize cybersecurity. Learn to Identify Suspicious Emails and Links ...
As a grocery store employee, you expect to get a regular paycheck. However, you may also be eligible for a variety of employee benefits for grocery stores employees. Here's a partial list. Healthcare Access a variety of healthcare options, incl...
I recently went through an excellent session using the ZeroRisk HR assessment to help me become a better manager of my own employees. One of the most insightful things I learned was to distinguish when to direct employees, when to coach them, or w...