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The hard truth about firing legally

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You may be a manager in any type of business and you have most likely had to address an employee that is not working out. You can talk to this employee and let them know what is expected of them and hope that it works. If the employee just doesn't get it or maybe the situation is more then poor performance. If this is your situation then you may need to fire this employee. Before you do that you need to make sure that you are fully aware of the hard truth about firing legally. If you are unsure of the laws to fire someone and you still fire that employee then you and the company can have a big problem. Let's look at some of these truths.

In today's society it is very hard to actually fire someone. There is a lot of paperwork involved in firing an employee no matter what type of business it is. Then even if you do follow all the rules in firing an employee your business can still end up with a wrongful termination suit against them.

The best way to start the process of firing an employee is to document everything. The employee that you want to terminate should be given proper warning so that they are not taken by surprise. You also want this employee to have a chance to actually change what you would like them to. Have your meeting with the employee and let them know what needs changed and why. Set time limits for the changes to be fulfilled. Then have the employee sign the paperwork that has all these requirements on them. This is protecting you in case they employee says they had no idea what was expected of them. The employee may not sign the paperwork so this is where a third party should sign saying that the employee was given the chance and declined.

You will not only need to document the regulations and requirements of the employee's job but also any warnings that you may have given this certain employee. To be safe you should document and have a witness to any meetings that are between management and the employee. This will save your company money from a wrongful termination suit because you have the proper documentation. The best policy is to write everything down with names and dates.

Before firing any employee you should also look at the amount of time that the particular employee has worked at the company. Employees that have been with the company for a long amount of time are most likely to sue the company if they are fired because of bad feelings. A judge and a jury will take time worked at a company into consideration. To avoid this pitfall you may want to take extra steps in helping a long term employee with any troubles they may be having at the work place. Also, do not procrastinate in firing a new employee if they are not holding up to standards. You should still have proper documentation no matter how long the employee has been with the company.

Finally, if there is no way but to fire the employee you will want to have a third party in the termination meeting. This person would be best from the human resources area of your company. Having someone else to witness this event will help if it goes to court. All the reasons that you are terminating the employee should be in a termination letter and read to the employee. Include the dates of discussion for the problems and any severance pay that the employee will receive. Make sure to stick to the point and not argue or feel sorry for the employee that your are firing. You gave them plenty of warning and time to correct the problems.

The hard truth about firing legally is that it is not that easy. You need to be well documented in case a former employee decides to sue. Take your time and document everything in order to save you and your company any money that the former employee could sue for.

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Posted by DF
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