Making the decision to fire an employee is never an easy one. Having the conversation with the employee is in itself difficult, but it is also to some extent accepting defeat in the hiring process. You hired someone who was clearly not appropriate for the role, and in doing so, your business has incurred unnecessary hiring costs and spent money on salary that was not correctly utilized.
So the situation becomes even more unfavorable when the employee decides to make a legal claim against you for unfair dismissal. This blog will provide a brief overview into how you can prevent getting into this situation as an employer.
Always give a reason for why the employee is being fired
Just because you are an at-will employer does not mean that you can get away with not giving any reason for firing an employee. What's more, if you give them a clear reason, you deter them from speculating about what the reason might have been, and going to a lawyer as a result.
Make sure that the timing is right
There are certain protections that exist for employees. For example, they are protected from being fired for a period after they file an internal complaint. If within this period you decide to fire them for an unrelated event, it may be interpreted as retaliation.
Follow your own policies
Policies are in place for a reason. Lawyers will check to see if you have followed your own policies and try to find holes in your procedure.
It's important to seek trusted legal advice if you are confronted by a claim from one of your former employees. Conduct a proper investigation and know your rights as an employer.
Source: forbes, "6 Big Reasons Employees Sue, And How To Protect Yourself," accessed Sep. 18, 2017