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Tips for appropriately terminating an employee

Employees can be both a business’s biggest asset and liability. While many employees create value and help establish the culture of a workplace, others can cost a business time and money for a variety of reasons. If that’s the case, employers should terminate the employee.

While workers in the U.S. can be fired at any time for any reason, doing so may not always be the best option. That’s because employees can easily file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or pursue a lawsuit. Whether the employee was wrongfully terminated or not, these actions can cost extra time and resources to deal with, which can create a headache for businesses.

Luckily, there are approaches employers can use to terminate workers with tact and grace.

Effectively approaching worker termination

While it may take longer, using these methods can help protect businesses against potential backlash:

  • Give the employee a warning 30 days beforehand.
  • Document issues that have caused the business concern.
  • Focus on specific behaviors or actions that have caused them to fall out of good graces.
  • Make the conversation about termination brief and linear.
  • Have witnesses present if the employee threatens retaliation.
  • Have the employee sign a liability release, especially if they are part of a protected class.
  • Avoid pushing back against a worker’s claim for unemployment benefits.

The process can be difficult

Telling an employee they no longer have a job can be one of the toughest things employers have to endure. But by taking the proper steps, employers can avoid potential setbacks. Those who are concerned about terminating an employee may want to contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney. They can help businesses understand their legal rights and answer any questions they may have.