You need to understand the policies and laws that you must adhere to when letting someone go. A fired employee may be angry—angry enough to claim the firing was for an unlawful reason such as discrimination or retaliation. Expect your actions and documentation to be examined under a microscope.
Why “Firing” Matters:
Coworkers are affected deeply by the firing of another employee, even if they feel the person is a poor worker, takes advantage of others, or whatever. A firing is unnerving to everyone around the terminated employee and may cause feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability in others.
You will also be affected. No matter what the reason for the termination, misgivings, resentment, bitterness, and other strong emotions usually surface.
Production may suffer when an employee is fired. Other workers, who may already be working as hard as they can and carrying a heavy workload, will have to pick up the slack until the terminated worker can be replaced. It may take time to find the right person. In the meantime, it may be a strain to keep up with production.
A firing may result in a wrongful discharge claim, which can be costly and unsettling for the entire organization. Terminated employees may take the company to court if they feel their rights have been violated—for example, if they feel the discharge was discriminatory or was in retaliation for some protected activity, such as complaining about safety problems or protesting working conditions.
- Terminating an employee is one of the most difficult and serious tasks you face.
- Be certain you have exhausted all other possibilities before deciding on termination.
- Make sure you understand the legal and policy restrictions on termination.
- Follow company policy and procedures carefully when terminating employees.