Naperville Business Attorney on How to Fire an Employee

fired, terminated employee, Naperville Business LawyerWhen you rely on a team of hired employees for the success of your business, sooner or later, you will face the challenges of a worker who will not or cannot do his or her job properly. The staff member may fail to meet your productivity expectations or sales quotas, or he or she may not adhere to company policies regarding discipline, punctuality, or personal behavior. Firing an employee is one of the most difficult things that a business owner or manager is ever required to do, but for the sake of your company, you must be prepared to do it properly. Along the way, you may want to consult with a business attorney to be sure that you and your company are fully protected in every step you take.

Termination as a Last Resort

As soon as you identify performance or behavior that fails to meet your standards, it is imperative to address it immediately. Provide the employee with information on exactly where he or she is falling short and what is expected of him or her to correct it. It is your company, so it is ultimately your responsibility to get your employee the help and resources needed to address the problem. Be sure to set realistic goals and timeframes in which the goals need to be met, and then follow up to check on the employee’s progress.

Document Everything

Each time you take corrective action with an employee, it is imperative that you keep a written record of what was said and when. Even if your company policy indicates that a verbal warning will be given as the first step in the disciplinary process, you need to record that the verbal warning took place. If you have not done so to this point, begin now, and use only the data for which documentation exists to avoid possible confusion.

Have a Termination Plan

Before the words “you’re fired” ever come out of your mouth, your company needs to have a process in place for handling terminated employees. A Naperville business attorney can help you develop a plan that specifies the return of company property, how the former employee will get his or last paycheck, and the process for ending company-provided benefits. A predetermined plan will help you avoid having to scramble for answers as the terminated staff member is on the way out the door.

Equal Application

It is absolutely critical that your disciplinary and termination policies be applied equally to each and every employee of your company. If you threaten to fire one worker for a particular offense, but look the other way when another worker does the same thing, you open your company up to claims of discrimination. Documentation is especially important for this reason too; other employees may not see or hear you correct or discipline a particular worker, but your records will prove that you did.

If you are a business owner looking to create a disciplinary policy for your company to avoid questions of fairness when firing an employee, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney. Attorney Denice Gierach has more than 30 years of experienced helping business owners make decisions that promote the best interests of their companies and employees. Call 630-756-1160 today to schedule an appointment.


Did you find this article about how to fire an employee helpful? Sign up below for more great articles about business planning and business law practices.