How to fire an employee? – Many employers are not sure how to go about firing an employee. Firing employees is not a fun task but it is important since your business is only as strong as your weakest link. It is important to identify and eliminate an employee who is not benefiting your business or worse, causing damage to your business. You can decide to fire an employee for various reasons such as performing below standards, misconduct and theft. However before you decide to fire an employee there are a few things you should be aware about.
Why you shouldn’t fire employees on the spot
The legal system has made it possible for employees to sue their former employers for wrongful termination. More and more employees are winning lawsuits against their employers every day. Many employers let emotions take over and often fire employees on the spot. They don’t take the recommended precautions and steps when firing employees and this can lead to a visit to court if the employee decides to sue. Follow these steps to reduce your chances of being charged with a wrongful termination lawsuit when firing employees.
How to Fire an Employee Steps
1)Warning Notice- Instead of firing an employee right away you can decide to give an employee a warning notice. This will give the employee a chance to correct his/her behavior. However if the employee poses a threat or can potentially cause harm unto other employees or customers you should not take this risk. In the case that something does occur to the other employees or customers, they can decide to sue you for not taking action.
2)Have a valid reason- Make sure the reason for firing the employee does not include any discriminatory factors such as age, race or religion. Have an explanation prepared to tell the employee. Support your explanation with business rules or regulations. Store all documents to support your decision to fire the employee.
3)Schedule a meeting- Instead of firing an employee on the spot schedule a meeting. The meeting can be on the following work day or on the same day. It’s best not to prolong the meeting.
4)Pick the Place- The best place to conduct the firing is in your business office. It should be away from other employees. If you work out of your home you can choose a public place such as a coffee shop.
5)Be Respectful- Be sensitive to the feelings of the employee. Being fired can be a difficult time for an employee. Say statements such as, “I wish you the best in the future”. Listen to the employee’s side of the story. Though you should be sensitive you should also keep your goal in mind. Make it clear to the employee that the decision is final. Provide them with a thorough explanation on why they are being fired. Ask them if they have any further questions. Provide answers to all their questions.
6)Closing- Try closing the termination meeting on a positive side. If you have the employee’s last paycheck give them that. If you plan on not disclosing to the employee’s future employers the reason why they were terminated you can tell them that. To ensure the employee doesn’t sue you for firing them you can have them sign a release form at this time.