Reasons For Firing An Employee

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Reasons For Firing An Employee

"How To" employee termination advice

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Reasons for Firing an Employee
The Basics of Terminating Employees

Letting an employee go may be fraught with many problems and correlating legalities. Even “at will” employees who understand that they may lose their job at any time may have legal recourse if your reasons for firing an employee are invalid.

Therefore, it is well to review some of the reasons for firing an employee. Some of these include:

*Misbehavior or rudeness toward clients or customers
*Drunkenness or substance abuse on-the-job
*Theft of company property
*Frequent and unexplained absences from work
*Entering false information on records
*Gross insubordination
*Incompetence or failure to respond to training
*Fighting or other physical aggression
*Sexual harassment
*Verbal abuse
*Using company property for personal business

Document Your Reasons for Firing an Employee

In each these cases, the well-informed employer will have clear documentation the employee understood company policy. Also, the employer should document evidence of misconduct and keep it on file with a written summary of the termination. Even when firing an “at will” employee, the manager must exercise care in wording the reasons for the termination. For example, the employer should not claim “downsizing” when he or she plans immediately to hire another employee to perform the same job.

It is not enough merely to suspect that an employee has violated a company policy. The employer should never fire an employee on a whim or out of resentment. Management should remain calm and collected during the entire process. The reasons for firing an employee may be valid, but handling the situation badly can cancel this.

When there are economic reasons for firing an employee, consider several factors. The main question an employer will have is, “Which employee should I terminate?” This can become a sticky situation and there are many aspects to consider:

*Which employees have the greatest longevity of service?
*Which employee shows the greatest productivity?
*All things being equal, which employee would recover best?
*Is voluntary retirement a possibility?
*Which employee has the best attitude toward the business?

Reasons for firing an employee are as varied as their faces. Even when the action becomes necessary through no fault of the employee, both the decision making process and the act of firing are not pleasant duties. It is, however, no time to let emotions get out of hand.

Next: Our recommended guide for terminating an employee

Terminating employees is one of the least desirable aspects of being a small business owner or Human Resources Manager. Nonetheless, it is a part of your job if you hold either position. Therefore, you must understand as much as possible when it comes to terminating employees to do it sensitively while avoiding legal troubles.

For many people, even the thought of terminating employees is undesirable. After all, once you have worked with someone for a time, you get to know him or her on a personal level. You may know that person’s hardships and struggles, and you may know their family. Just thinking of firing that person and placing an extra load on him or her can be bothersome, even if you know the employee should be fired.

Besides the emotional stress of terminating employees, you must be wary of lawsuits. In our current sue happy world, it only takes one small mistake to find yourself going to court over a wrongful termination hearing. Therefore, it is important to follow the proper procedure when terminating employees.

Always Document When Terminating Employees

The first rule of thumb when terminating employees is to document. As a rule, you cannot document enough. Before you reach the point when termination is necessary, you must document all problems you have had with the employee. Describe, in detail, all actions and behaviors that lead to the employee's discipline. Every incident should include the date it took place.

Following each incident, you must list out the actions you took to reprimand the employee. Then, you must notify the employee that you have placed paperwork in his or her employee file and this person must sign the paperwork to show that he or she has read it. If the employee refuses to sign, document this fact as well and have another supervisor sign that he or she witnessed the employee’s refusal.

Cover Yourself When Terminating Employees

When terminating employees, you must always take care to cover these basics. Not only must you document the problems you have had with the employee, but you also must prove that you effectively communicated your expectations to them. This means that you should also document all training you have provided to the employee as well as all meetings you have had with him or her.





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