Sooner or later, every
small business manager must face the task of terminating an employee.
This is a task that can be unpleasant at a minimum and dangerously expensive
if not handled carefully. You must remember that there are laws that provide
employees with rights that you must not violate. This article is not intended
to be legal advice and should not replace getting the legal advice you
an employee can be tough, it is often the best thing to be done for the
success of the business and perhaps even the ultimately happiness of the
employee. Here are some general guidelines that may help you deal with
terminate an employee for the following reasons:
If the employee
is performing a public obligation such as voting, serving on jury
duty or serving in a military reserve unit.
Refusing to commit
an illegal act such as participating in a price-fixing scheme, committing
perjury or refusing to report an employer's wrongdoing.
Filing a complaint
against the company.
You can terminate
an employee for the following reasons:
or showing up late for work.
on a job application.
Managers usually know
when an employee isn't working out. Keep records to support your termination
of the employee. This includes performance reviews, warnings, evidence
of poor performance and records of conversations covering these issues.
Document your case for terminations.
Once you have made
the decision to terminate the employee and have your documentation it
is usually best to get it done as soon as possible. Hopefully, the employee
will not be surprised. Set up an exit interview and make sure to cover
Discuss any severance
payments the employee may receive.
Discuss any continuation
of benefits that may be provided.
keys, building passes, credit cards, company property or records the
employee may have.
If you want,
have the employee sign a release.
Discuss any reference
you may be asked to provide.
Terminating an employee
is also an opportunity to make your business better. It is a chance to
find a replacement with better skills or qualifications. If you are terminating
the employee due to cost containment, this is an opportunity to save money.
It is also an opportunity for damage to your company. Be careful in the
termination process. Emotions can be high and there is little reason to
inflame the emotions by acting unprofessional. The terminated employee
may become bitter and say bad things to your customers. Try to get the
process completed with a minimum of anger, emotion or bad will.