Employee Termination: Proper and Legal Laying Off a Worker

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As most businesses know, its employees are the lifeblood of any business model and are the backbone of any company in driving up shareholder value. But even though most employees will work hard to ensure that the company’s net worth will steadily increase, there will be times that employees won’t meet the company standards in terms of productivity and output. While most businesses will try to help the employee adapt to their work environment, some employees will do more harm than good.

Whether the employee has been wasting company resources, doing illegal activities, breaching contracts, or being unprofessional in the workplace, there are various reasons why employees are terminated. Still, terminating an employee is necessary, especially when the company can suffer the following consequences:

  • Bad reputation
  • Waste of time and money
  • Disrupted public image
  • Decreasing shareholder value

However, the litigious nature of the termination process means that most employers and human resource officers should tread carefully on what they’ll say to their employees. A single slip of the tongue or a part in any written memo that’s misinterpreted can often lead to a variety of different legal entanglements.

Naturally, a business will have other more important pressing issues that it needs to attend to, and facing legal issues in court is the last thing they want. As such, we must know different ways of terminating an employee while ensuring that it will go as smoothly as possible.

Extensive Screening Process

One of the best ways of ensuring that an employee does not become a liability is not hiring an employee that can cause more harm than good in the first place. This means that you’ll need to hire someone with the right work ethic, professional demeanor, and skill that’s right for the job. Having clear and extensive hiring guidelines can ensure that you won’t hire someone who’s just going to be a liability.

Do you need a more robust hiring system? What are some of the processes that are involved during the screening stage? Snuffing out those who are unqualified for the job can help you determine who you can hire.

Although you might be looking for someone to fill a position as fast as possible, it’s still important to take your time during the screening process. Some employees can stay in the company for years, and your decision on whether they are hired or not will ultimately be a deciding factor. After all, no employer wants to spend a good amount of funds on an individual that’s only squandering company resources.

Even workers are laid off for not meeting company standards but are entitled to having unemployment or final pay because of certain employment laws. As such, it’s important to hire someone professional and well-versed in the field.

It’s important to note that taking legal action should be your last resort, especially if the recently laid-off employee does take action against you. If you’re not quite sure about the employment laws in your area, you might want to consider hiring an employment law attorney that can give you much-needed information on your situation. This can also increase the likelihood of winning your case.

Expectations Are Clear

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If an employee is hired and successfully onboarded, they must be informed of the expectation and the service level agreement they have to abide by. This means that they know their responsibilities, work ethics, production standards, and other important parts of their obligations.

Providing a detailed written agreement on their roles and expectations while also having their signature means that they abide by the rules and regulations you have set out. Breaching such an agreement will often result in termination.

Making your expectations as clear as possible can help give you a strong basis for why a certain employee should be terminated. If they violate at least one of these written agreements, you will have a justifiable reason for the termination.

Updating Your Rules and Regulations

In almost any business establishment, adapting to certain incidents and situations can help ensure that such an “issue” does not happen in the near future. By updating your company’s rules and regulations, it’s easier to protect your company’s assets and even the employees’ rights from anything that might happen. Of course, these policies will need to be in line with regulations in certain states.

Keep on Documenting

Lastly, evidence will be your best friend in securing yourself in a legal position. It’s important to keep in mind the saying “If it’s not written, then it can’t be proven.” which is true in a legal position. Proper documentation can give you proof of what you want to happen on your side of the coin.

These should be all placed into writing:

  • Disciplinary action
  • Resignation letters
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Contract
  • Policies
  • Policy changes
  • Contract
  • Termination forms

There are different ways of “graciously” laying off or terminating a worker without the need for legal action from both sides. One of the best ways of ensuring that this does not happen is by proper documentation, having the right evidence, and clear communication between both parties. Still, the legal process should be the last and final resort if no resolution is met.

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