As an employer, you may feel that every employee termination is justifiable. However, the law may not agree. While most cases will be legal, there may be some situations where an ex-employee could claim wrongful termination. If this happens, it could become costly for your business. It is much better for you to ensure that any termination is 100% legal and justifiable.
Unless you use employee contracts, your employees likely work under the idea of at-will employment. This means that you or the employee can end employment at any time for any reason. In most situations of at-will employment, you will not have any issues with wrongful termination claims. However, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that they do not happen.
The Business Journals explains that one thing you can do as an employer is to keep good documentation. If you have to speak with an employee about not meeting expectations or about his or her poor attendance, make sure that you document it. Get the employee to sign any documentation, as well.
Have clear policies
Ensure that your employee handbook is clear and complete. Make sure that employees understand all policies, and enforce them equally. If you let one person deviate from the policy, then you would have to let every employee do so to avoid issues. You need to be consistent when enforcing rules. Inconsistency could lead to claims of discrimination.
Avoid an emotional termination
When you do let an employee go, have a level head when doing it. If you find that you feel upset when you think about terminating someone, consider sending the employee home for the day and meeting again the next morning. This will give you time to cool down and review the employee’s file to gather viable, concrete information and examples that you can present when you do terminate his or her employment.