Terminating an employee is not something anyone wants to do, but sometimes there is no other choice. As a small business owner, it is important that you take the appropriate steps when doing so, in order to protect yourself and your business.
Here is a brief outline of the steps that you should be taking.
!. Keep a record of issues
It is a good idea to note down all issues as they arise. You can address these issues as they come up and set in place a plan for improvement. Having a record of all issues and how they were addressed will provide you with justification for termination if there is no improvement from the employee. It will also help the employee understand
why they are being terminated.
2. Termination paperwork
You can start putting together the termination paperwork if the employee fails to meet the improvement standards. This is a good time to work with a small business lawyer, who can assist you with the details including the amount of severance that is appropriate for the situation.
3. Meet the employee
During this meeting you want to briefly outline the reasons for termination. It is a good idea to have a witness present during this meeting, ideally someone from the HR department. A termination can bring up many emotions so you must remember to keep yourself in check, because any sort of response could leave you open to a wrongful termination lawsuit.
4. Following the termination
You should take steps to ensure that the termination and the aftermath are as smooth as possible. This includes making the termination date clear and making it as discreet as possible to ensure the business is not affected. Debriefing the other employees is also a good idea, as this will dispel any rumours.
In addition to these steps, you should have put together employee contracts prior to hiring.
These contracts are a good way to protect yourself and your business from wrongful termination lawsuits. They should include a section dealing with termination and all the details surrounding it. If you are looking at hiring your first employee or terminating an employee, you can give me a call and come in for consultation.