Dismissing an employee is a touchy situation

Being in an authoritative role is not for everyone. Often, individuals in positions of authority, like employers, have to make difficult decisions when it comes to managing certain operations, addressing issues that arise and handling employee discipline. In some cases, these matters can have an element of confrontation or tension, and the possibility exists that some upset could arise. In particular, when terminating an employee from a position, it is important to take the correct steps.

Any worker can feel disheartened by losing his or her job, but as an employer, if you do not follow certain procedures, an employee could claim that you wrongfully dismissed him or her, or that some other detail of the firing process caused undue difficulties. You certainly do not want an already difficult situation to become even more trying for yourself, the employee or the company.

Is immediate termination the right answer?

In some cases, it may be necessary to immediately terminate an employee and have him or her escorted from the premises. Serious offenses like acting in a violent manner, stealing company property, bringing a weapon to work or other serious violations could present cause for immediate removal of an employee. Of course, when weapons or violence is involved, it is important to take caution.

In the event that an employee does not pose a threat or has not violated company policies in any serious way, immediate termination may not be the only course of action. You could have the ability to meet with the employee and let him or her know about any performance issues or other feedback that could help the worker understand that improvement is necessary. Keep records of this meeting to show that concerns about future employment existed before termination.

What if no improvement occurs?

Some workers do not take feedback seriously and do not want to improve, or they may simply not have the ability to handle a particular job as much as they try. You certainly do not want to keep on an employee who hinders other workers or the business overall, so ending employment may be the best course of action.

The options for terminating an employee can differ. For instance, should you offer severance pay? How much notice should you give the employee before the dismissal? Do you need to take the same actions with each employee in this situation? It is vital that you have the right answers to these concerns and come up with a dismissal process that suits your company’s needs, complies with California state laws and does not cause any unnecessary issues. Fortunately, an experienced employment law attorney can explain available options.

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