If you work or operate a business long enough, it is inevitable that the decision to terminate will be made at some point. This decision, while not an easy one to make, is compounded by issues that can arise immediately after when the terminated employee believes they were “wrongfully terminated” and seek redress through a number of channels including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the court system.
In order to help shield you from possible claims, the following checklist can aid in deciding that termination is appropriate as well as help mitigate any possible fallout.
If you can answer yes to each of these questions, then there is a good chance that not only is termination appropriate, but that any punitive action by the terminated employee can be disposed of quickly.
- Is there credible (and documented) evidence that supports termination?
- Is the rule cited for termination job related?
- Has the employee received adequate notice that violating this rule can result in termination?
- Is the termination consistent with past-practice? If not, can you point to (and show) a legitimate business reason as to why termination is appropriate in this instance?
- Have the prior disciplinary problems been documented and has the employee been made aware of these prior actions?
- Has care been taken to ensure that any prior discipline did not violate state or federal law?
- Have you given the employee a chance to explain his or her side of the story?
While the above is a good starting point in assessing whether there is a sufficient basis to terminate the employee, it is always important to speak with your labor attorney or human resources director in order to fully understand any potential exposure as well as additional steps that must be taken in order to effectively terminate the employee as well as shield your business from any possible repercussions.
At Berchem Moses & Devlin, P.C., our labor and employment attorneys have years of experience in handling terminations as well as litigating claims based on wrongful termination both in courts and other administrative agencies. Should you require assistance in making the decision to terminate call one of our attorneys at (203) 783-1200.