Four principles behind how to terminate an employee

by on May 27, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Investigate before any employee termination

Obviously, before making a decision, you’ll need to investigate the allegations of illegal or unethical conduct. And you may want to involve your counsel depending on what the allegations are.

  1. How to terminate an employee starts with written policy that governs the conduct.
  2. You want to take a look at those and make sure you’re following your own guidelines for discipline and employee terminations. If you determine in good faith based on your employee terminations investigation that an alleged conduct actually happened, you’re then going to figure out how to proceed, whether that’s disciplinary action or if the offense is serious enough, terminating that employee.

  3. Ask why and how to terminate an employee has come up in the past .
  4. Remember again, consistency is important, especially with regards to terminating an employee.

  5. Document whatever discipline you deem appropriate in a memo.
  6. When you’re drafting that document, think about your audience because while that document is going to the wrongdoer, it’s also really being written for the lawyer of the wrong doer, who is often a freshly terminated employee.

    When that employee or former employee goes to a lawyer, the lawyer’s going to ask if the employee was given any documentation explaining the reason for terminating the employee. You want the lawyer to read the memo and decide that the case isn’t worth the time because the company did such a good job.

  7. How to terminate an employee investigation
  8. Under certain circumstances, it may take a company a period of time to fully investigate a situation. So while that’s going on, your company may suspend the employee pending the investigation. And if the investigation reveals sufficient evidence to warrant terminating that employee, then the employee should be told that the suspension has been changed to a termination decision. If the investigation does not reveal sufficient evidence, then the employee may be reinstated. And sometimes of course, you’ll investigate and you’ll discover an infraction that doesn’t warrant terminating any employee but might lead to disciplinary action.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar “Effective Termination Techniques -How to Document Terminations So You Won’t Lose a Lawsuit” by Alyssa Senzel October 24, 2007

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