What is the best process for employee terminations?

by on May 22, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Three principles can help you avoid a lawsuit with employee terminations.

The first principle is consistency. It’s crucial to be consistent with your employee termination policy, but it’s also important to know where and how to make exceptions.

Documentation is next. This is a mantra for anyone in HR; they’ve been saying this forever.

Last is managing at all levels, knowing that you are the boss. Many managers feel like they have no control over this anymore, that problem employees are holding them hostage.

The cost of ill conceived employee terminations
You’ve almost undoubtedly seen the headlines about companies settling discrimination cases. From Lockheed Martin having to pay out $2.5 million for racial discrimination, to the recent NASCAR incident where a woman sued for $225 million based on allegations of sexual harassment. Companies who aren’t thinking about what they’re doing keep making these foolish mistakes and end up paying tons of money as a result. Believe it or not, there’s good news in those headlines for people other than those harassed employees. The good news for the companies is that those lawsuits are completely and easily avoidable. These three principles can keep you out of court, and they can also help your office find a blend of harmony and productivity.

As a general rule, employees seem to think that management gets in a room and spends their time in meetings thinking about employee terminations and the like. In reality, the last thing any manager, from frontline supervisors all the way to the CEO, wants to do is fire someone. They’re very hesitant to do it, even in cases when they know they really should. There’s a lot at stake with employee terminations and a great deal of fear that comes with the notion of firing someone that needs to be sorted out. By looking at some different approaches and preventive strategies, you can see that there are ways to fire an employee without fearing a lawsuit.

These are the edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar:
“Yes, You Can Fire Without Fear! What Every Supervisor Needs to Know” hosted by Hunter Lott, Esq. on September 22, 2008

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