Terminations – Why they need to be done properly

August 13, 2014

Separating an employee from your organization is rarely easy. Many managers and business owners avoid the issue because it is uncomfortable, but fail to realize that putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today often makes the problem worse.

Evaluate the situation
When EctoHR’s clients bring up the topic of termination, we evaluate the situation to make sure we first understand everything that is going on and second, determine what risk there is to the company if the termination takes place.

Important items to consider when deciding whether or not to terminate:

– What is the issue causing the desire for you to terminate?
– Has anyone discussed the issue with the employee?

    o If not, is talking to them about it a reasonable course of action?
    For example, it goes without saying you can’t hit a co-worker at work. Previous discussions about this probably aren’t necessary to warrant a termination.

– Think big picture!

    o How long have they been with the company?
    o Have they recently been on a medical leave?
    o Are they a member of a protected class?
    o Has there been a history of corrective action for behavior or performance?

– Who else is involved that could have valuable insight on this decision?
– What is the impact to the remaining team members after this employee is potentially gone?

Answers to the above questions are critical to the path of decision making and course of action when it comes to terminations.

Be clear
When the decision is made to terminate an employee, EctoHR encourages giving a clear, concise reason to your employee. Even though many states, including Michigan, are At-Will employment states, EctoHR still recommends that clients tell employees why they are being terminated.

If you do not disclose this information, terminated employees will often try to determine the reason themselves. The lack of specific information may therefore lead a terminated employee to surmise that he or she is being discriminated against because of his or her status as part of a protected class. Protected classes include, but are not limited to: age, race, religion, disability, or other protected status. Subsequently, however untrue this may be, the employer is then at risk for a lawsuit.

EctoHR is here for you
EctoHR works with clients before, during, and after the termination process. While we don’t act in a capacity like George Clooney in the movie “Up in the Air”, we do help through the progression of the separation. For questions or concerns regarding the termination process, please feel free to reach out to Christy Conn at EctoHR at christy@ectohr.com or call 810.534.0170.

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