Employees leave organizations. Many times they leave on their own to pursue better opportunities or switch careers but, on other occasions, the organization may consider firing an employee. There could be tens of reasons for considering that option, including inappropriate behavior with colleagues, consistently poor performance, extraordinary bad economic conditions, etc. In every such case, however, the employer has to demonstrate ample caution, consideration, and due diligence before terminating an employee.
Firing an Employee without Due Diligence
In every instance where an employer fires an employee, there is a sizeable risk of retaliation. This could come in the form of a lawsuit, which is the usual course of action when a terminated employee feels they were unfairly removed from their employment. In some cases ? and these are situations where high-profile organizations and professionals have a public falling out ? the employee may start a smearing campaign through the forms of media easily accessible today.
In either case, the resulting circumstances can cause lasting damage to the employer’s reputation in the industry and brand. A lawsuit may take a long period of time to unfold and conclude, during which time external stakeholders may not readily do business with an organization that is involved in a lawsuit of wrongful employee termination.
For these reasons, organizations have to be careful with decisions of firing an employee. They must follow stringent protocols and ensure they have exhausted all options before removing the person from their job.
Proper termination compliance is the only way employers can reduce the risk of facing legal issues for their decisions. The law protects the rights of both the employer and the employee and, as the employing organization, it is your job to ensure you do your part before terminating the employment contract. Organizations must follow the applicable law and establish clear procedures of due diligence to ensure termination compliance. However, there are a number of reasons why an employer may feel the need to let an employee go immediately. These reasons may include:
There may be other situations as well where an employer would decide to terminate an employee. However, termination compliance requires them to take a number of steps to demonstrate due diligence:
- Document the complete process, including details of incidents that led to the termination and any warnings or notices issued to the worker previously.
- Address benefits appropriately and make sure a final paycheck is issued that includes all kinds of outstanding wages, bonuses, and payments.
- Offer severance pay if appropriate.
Terminate Employees with Appropriate Severance
Situations like economic layoffs, and others, where there is a risk of legal action, employers find it beneficial to arrange an exit interview and offer the terminated employee severance pay. This payment is based on the position they are leaving and an estimated value of losses their legal action could result in. In return, the employee signs a release waiving all rights for legal action.
This information must help you understand the complexities of employee termination. However, we have more detailed knowledge to share with you with our numerous webinars and online courses about the various problems associated with employee termination, including:
- Termination due diligence
- Termination policies and procedures
- Effective severance pay negotiations
- Other employee termination do’s and dont’s
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