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When terminating employees, proceed carefully

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2020 | Employment Issues

Not every employee you hire will work out. Whether terminating someone’s contract due to a downturn in business or firing an employee because of something they did, it is never an easy decision. Once you have made your mind up, you need to ensure you go about it correctly. Otherwise, you could find that instead of relieving yourself of a burden, you create a whole new set of problems for yourself.

Here are some tips to reduce the chance an employee takes you to court because you let them go:

Losing a job should not come as a surprise

Communication is everything. If firing an employee for disciplinary or performance failures, you should have made them aware beforehand that they were on their last warning. Employee handbooks can help inform workers of rules they need to abide by and what will happen if they do not.

Ensure you can justify your decision

Can you justify your decision in court? While you may know in your head that your team will be better off without a particular worker, the person you let go may believe they were an essential part of the team and be so blind to their weaknesses that they try to blame the termination on some other factor. They may accuse you of discriminating against them based on gender, race, color, or disability. Collate evidence that will back up your decision, such as financial figures, disciplinary records and notes on previous conversations.

Seek legal help to ensure you do not break any rules

Making mistakes when terminating an employee’s contract can be costly. You could end up facing expensive and lengthy lawsuits. It could also damage your standing with other employees and the local population. An attorney can help you create employment contracts that are more straightforward to end, when necessary, and support you in any disputes.