Becoming a business owner for the first time can be a personally enriching and empowering experience. Knowing that you are providing a product or service to consumers while also providing employment to people is a gratifying feeling. However, there comes a point in the life of every business owner that is anything but gratifying: making the decision to terminate and employee. This isn’t made any easier when you have developed a liking for the individual in question over a long period of employment at your company. If the business is to continue moving forward, though, it sometimes must be done. To help you get in the right mindset, here are a few things you can do to prepare.
The first step toward many an employee termination comes in the form of a verbal report from someone in a supervisor position. While it is certainly part of the supervisor’s job to inform you of any incompetence or inappropriate behavior in the workplace, you should still request some kind of formal documentation that directly addresses the employee’s incorrect actions so that you can determine the appropriate course of action for yourself. Even if you have the utmost trust in your supervisor, personal feelings can sometimes mar judgement in a situation like this.
As a business owner, your duty is first and foremost to protect the integrity and productivity of the business so that its size and positive reputation can grow. Sometimes, in order to carry out this duty, problematic employees need to be fired. However, it is of the utmost importance that before you decide to call someone in for his or her final meeting with you as an employee, you are coming at the situation with the good of the company in mind. Many employers make the mistake of allowing personal dislike for someone to override any facts about a worker’s actual contributions to the business, which may actually be solid. While it is a bit of a cliché to say that something is “nothing personal, just business,” the idea should act as your fundamental guide when deciding on a termination.
Ensure the Reason for Firing is Valid and Legal
Some employers make the mistake of assuming that, because of their position, they are permitted to hire or fire workers on a whim. This could not be further from the truth. Every state has laws in place that are quite specific about the instances in which an employee can and cannot be terminated. For example, if someone in your employ goes to the government to report some kind of misconduct on the part of your business, there are whistleblower statutes in place that have serious ramifications for you if you choose to ignore them. Before you jump to any major decisions, be sure you have first done your legal homework.
Keep Copies of All Documentation
Even if you have taken every termination law into account when you make the decision to fire an employee, it is still a good policy to keep all documents related to the termination on hand. Many disgruntled workers who feel they were unjustly fired choose to pursue legal action against their former employers. If you keep copies of negative reports from the individual’s coworkers and supervisors as well as warnings that you issued to make behavioral adjustments, you’ll be standing on much firmer ground if he or she decides to come after you.
Keep the Future in Mind
If your business is going to be successful, then you need to always keep plans for its future in mind in order to make decisions that will facilitate progress. Sometimes this means letting go of an underperforming employee. When that time comes, it’s best to keep an objective mindset and to make sure every contingency is taken into account so you can take action with complete confidence.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.