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Legalizing the termination of an employee

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Employment Law for Employers, Wrongful Termination |

New York employers can fire employees at will, meaning they do not really need a valid reason for adverse actions against an employee. However, state and federal laws now protect employees’ rights more than ever. A disgruntled employee can pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit regardless of whether you fired them for lawful reasons. As an employer, you must try to prevent such claims by legalizing any necessary adverse actions against employees.

Keep records of employee performance

If you are firing an employee because of poor work ethic and inadequate job performance, you should be able to support that action. By keeping quantitative and verifiable measures of employment, you can immediately and legally prove that your decision to fire an employee has merit. You can also consider having regular performance reviews and progressive disciplinary measures. That way, employees are aware when they are not meeting company expectations. The termination will not catch them off-guard.

Implement company policy with an employee handbook

An employee handbook will outline the company’s policies and procedures. It should include protocol regarding disciplining employees and a termination provision. It would be best to have your employees sign the handbook to prove they agree to the company’s way of doing things. It should be legal to fire an employee according to the termination clause they also agreed to.

Equalize the enforcement of company rules and regulations

Disciplinary measures should be consistent throughout your company. You should ensure that the managers and supervisors consistently enforce these policies and procedures on every employee. Any form of discrimination can be detrimental to a company. Equality and consistency are vital when hiring, disciplining and terminating an employee.

As an employer and business owner, you want what is best for your company. You have standards to maintain. If an employee is unfit for their role and is causing the company harm, you should not put up with their unsatisfactory performance. But remember to protect yourself and your company.