Naperville Business Lawyer Talks About Avoiding Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

termination, Naperville business law attorneyFor many business owners, there is nothing they dread more than firing an employee. Although television and movies would lead many to believe that employers and bosses, in general, are callous and power-hungry, the vast majority of business owners truly want their employees to be happy and successful. However, when an employee cannot fulfill his or her work duties adequately, violates company policy, or is untrustworthy, an employer may have no other choice than to fire the employee. It is essential that employers take steps to make sure the termination does not violate any employment laws and lead to a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit.

Make Sure Your Expectations and Policies Are Clear

Employers should always ensure that employees understand exactly what is expected of them. The more explicit your work policies and procedures are, the more likely employees are to follow them. You should have a clear discipline policy that lists the steps taken when an employee is not adequately fulfilling job duties or breaches company policy. An employee should never be surprised when he or she gets fired. He or she should have been getting frequent feedback about poor work performance or other problems and additional coaching or training to help him or her get up to speed. Write these expectations, rules, and policies in a comprehensive employee handbook.

Document Every Instance That Your Employee Underperforms or Violates Company Rules

One of the best ways for employer to avoid a lawsuit is to document everything. For example, if an employee has a habit of showing up late to work, keep records of this. Document when the employee’s work shift begins and when the employee actually showed up. It is also recommended that you conduct regular performance appraisals of all of your employees. This way, if an employee regularly fails to meet your expectations, you will have proper documentation of this.

Plan What You Will Say During the Termination and Have a Witness Present

In order to make sure you do not say something during the termination meeting that could get you into trouble later, make a plan in advance for what you will say to the employee. Remain calm and professional during the termination meeting. Have a witness such as your human resources leader present when you let an employee go. Unfortunately, some resentful employees may attempt to lie about what really took place during a meeting in order to bring a frivolous lawsuit. Having someone to verify your version of the events can go a long way in protecting you and the company.

Contact a DuPage County Business Law Attorney

At The Gierach Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping you protect yourself and your company. For assistance in ensuring that your termination procedures and company policies are compliant with federal and Illinois employment law, speak with one of our experienced Naperville business lawyers. Call 630-756-1160 today to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

Society for Human Resource Management

Forbes