Effective Procedures to Avoid Wrongful Termination Suits

Disclaimer: This article should not be treated as legal advice. It’s recommended that readers still consult legal counsel and contact a lawyer should they have any concerns regarding wrongful termination suits.

As small business owners, we understand that making sure our business profits is perhaps one of the most important objectives of our company’s direction. wrongful terminationHowever, because we rely on our employees in order to help make sure we achieve this goal, part of our responsibilities is to make sure we give them only the proper treatment and care as our staff. Part of these responsibilities is to make sure there are effective procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits.

If our company doesn’t have a good structure in place that ensures employees are screened properly before they are hired and before they are fired, then a wrongful termination suit can put us in a lot of trouble. This can be an extreme hassle for the company as it makes us divert unnecessary time and resources into something we could’ve repaired beforehand. Below are some effective procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits.

Do remember, however, that this article shouldn’t be treated as legal advice as a legal professional is still the best person to talk to when it comes to setting up proper procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits. A legal professional who is acquainted with labor law and businesses might be the person to talk to, especially when it comes to your specific business structure.

  1. Documentation matters, not just on the performance of the employee, but across the board.

Always remember that it’s important to engage with your employees in order to make sure they are well aware of their performance, which means performance appraisals are highly recommended for your company. It’s also advised that your managers engage in open discussions with the staff under them regarding their performance as there are standards to follow.

  • According to Workforce, the point of documenting performance is to at least have some form of documentation ready that would be the most efficient source of a reliable summary of events pertaining to an employee’s performance at any given time.
  • Documentation matters, especially if you have to show how an employee has performed thus far and want to help steer employees to the right direction – be it improvement in their standing in the company, or if they have to leave.
  1. Rules and guidelines matter, especially when it comes to selecting, retaining, and terminating employees.

Perhaps one of the most essential and one of the most efficient procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits is to make sure your company follows a strict set of rules and regulations on employee acceptance, retention, and termination across the board. This allows you to have a more objective view on matters pertaining to the employee.

  • It’s advised that the rules and guidelines you make are reviewed by a legal professional first so they can add their own recommendations. This is important as you need to check that the guidelines aren’t creating unintended actions against specific groups such as workers over the age of 40 or women, or wage and hour claim for the employees.
  • Should you have an approved set of rules and regulations, try to make sure your managers and supervisors are well aware of its existence and how these should be used to be able to be more objective to employees.
  1. Objectivity matters, especially when it comes to termination decisions.

This is where human resources or a senior manager comes in as they need to make sure the decision made on an employee is based on objective grounds. This means reviewing what the employee has done in terms of performance that can lead to dismissal from the company.

  • It’s important a human resources professional reviews this process as it helps the company arrive at a sound decision regarding the performance of an employee. They are trained to be able to check for certain nuances that could allow employers to give a particular employee an opportunity to retain their job under review, or if they should be terminated entirely.
  1. Be very clear, and give the to-be-terminated proper notice.

When engaging with a termination discussion with the aforementioned employee, try your best to be clear with the process involved. Try to be clear and specific as to why they are selected for the decision as vagueness can lead the employee to have their own conclusion and may become groundwork for wrongful termination suits.

  • If possible, try to give a termination warning or notice a few weeks beforehand just so the employee can consider their next few steps before officially leaving the company. A good way to do this is to perhaps offer placement assistance of some type, which might greatly help employees. This isn’t always possible as an outplacement firm can be expensive.
  • If an outplacement firm can’t be found immediately, perhaps alternatives can be used. Maybe seminars on interview skills and resume writing can greatly help to-be-terminated employees find better opportunities, and you may even offer to hold a job fair at your location for local companies interested to hire employees.

Conclusion

Terminating employees is a part of the business cycle, especially if we consider personnel who don’t help us meet the prescribed goals of the company. However, even though employee termination is something we can do as employers, it’s still best that we do this with the right processes in place. With the right kind of planning and structuring, we can establish effective procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits.

Wrongful termination suits can be extremely draining in both time and resources, especially if they can be avoided in the first place. Perhaps, through the above tips, we can finally check and make sure our company has these appropriate systems in place. Remember, setting these up now might be resource-intensive, but the amount of time and resources it could save in the long run can be something we will be thankful for.

About Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith is best known by her readers as someone who offers a modern take on common law topics. Brenda keeps herself fit and healthy by working out during her free time.