Business owners are sometimes confronted with the necessity of dealing with a problem employee who must be terminated. Termination can involve a number of legal issues, such as discrimination and employers must keep these in mind when removing an employee from a position. Following a few steps can help to ensure that all legal requirements are met:
Know Your State’s Termination Laws
Every business should know their state’s applicable termination laws and statues in advance of the need to terminate any employee. This information can provide background on what matters constitute an unlawful termination, as well as the decisions made on past termination cases.
Design A Consistent Policy
Once you know your state’s requirements for termination, you can design a policy for your business that will allow you to proceed in a uniform way in any individual case where an employee must be fired. A policy should include appropriate documentation for termination, a limit on disciplinary actions and an orderly process of providing severance or other benefits upon termination. This policy can be followed consistently, eliminating any suggestion of discrimination or bias.
Document All Disciplinary Actions
Once an employer has identified a problem employee, he or she must follow strict protocols for providing disciplinary actions and suggestions for correcting the problem. These documents should be written and retained in the employee file. The employee should also be provided a copy of the actions.
Carefully Review HR Records Before Finalizing the Termination
When termination is determined to be the only option available, the employer should discuss the case thoroughly with the HR department to review all relevant facts about the person’s employment and the reasons for termination. The HR department can also help to provide information about severance matters, so that the termination goes as smoothly as possible.
Consult An Attorney To Ensure Legal Compliance
An experienced attorney that deals with wrongful termination cases on a daily basis can provide the best advice on the best way to fire an employee without legal repercussions. The attorney can provide advice on what documentation to have on hand to plead your case, if necessary.
If you are involved in a wrongful termination case, contact the offices of Goldman and Ehrlich to discuss your legal options.