Firing someone can be a difficult process. While you know you are making the right decision for the wellbeing of your organization, you may fear some backlash. If your former employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit, you may face a lot of legal and financial headaches.
Thankfully, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent yourself from being on the receiving end of a wrongful termination suit. Here are some best practices for avoiding wrongful termination claims.
1. Know the law
First and foremost, you should have a basic understanding of employment laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Labor Standards Act. Your business policies must also comply with rules set out by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. This will help you develop policies and take actions that are legal. An attorney can help you get a grasp of putting these laws into practice.
2. Establish a termination policy
Once you have a thorough understanding of employee termination laws, you should write a policy. This document should describe causes for immediate firing and the procedures you will carry out that will result in layoffs. Make sure all your employees read this policy in the form of an employee handbook.
3. Document the actions you take
Before you let an employee go, you may take a series of disciplinary actions first. Your employee handbook may include a process of warnings or probation periods. If you take any of these actions, make sure you document them thoroughly. Additionally, have the employee sign a statement when you take all of these actions. This will prove that you tried to resolve the situation before terminating the employee.
Running a business can be stressful. Letting an employee go is one of the most nervewracking things you can do as a boss. By being mindful and calculated, you may avoid employee litigation.