At the start of hiring an employee you the employer are hopeful for a long standing relationship; and why wouldn't you be! You've advertised your medical job posting on Indeed, Linkedin, and Craigslist. You've phone screened, interviewed and probably run a detailed background check on the potential new hire. You've spent countless hours, resources, and training for your new staff member but the employee you've hired is a dud. Your new employee shows poor work performance, excessive absenteeism, insubordination, or substance abuse problems and its affecting the morale of your team. You've decided its time to cut ties, but how do you do so without getting sued?
There are countless laws that govern the firing of an employee. It is your job as an employer to ensure that termination decisions are objective, job-related, and for nondiscriminatory reasons. Additionally, its important to examine any contractual obligations prior to firing to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Therefore, for what they are worth, we offer the following observations and suggestions for you to consider before conducting your next employee firing.
1. Make sure prior to hiring any employee that you create a company handbook which includes policy and procedures.
2. Ensure during the onboarding and hiring process that each new hire reads and goes over your employee handbook.
3. Explain to your employees your company's at will policy .
4. Prior to the firing process, an employer should be documenting all disciplinary procedures, policies and performance standards, any staff members statements who were present during the employee misconduct, the supervisor's memos which documents performance deficiencies, and any warning documents.
5. Its important to make sure prior to any dismissal that the employer applies any employee standards uniformly and that there are no biases; Determine whether the termination recommendation is consistent with prior actions where the factual circumstances are similar.
6. Take the time to review an employee's overall job performance.
7. Make sure the employee dismissal is not a result of a personality conflict with staff and supervisors. If so, review the behavior of the employee objectively.
8. Has the employee's supervisor been abusive, hostile, unfair or even difficult? Could this have contributed to the less than stellar performance of the employee? If so, before the employee dismissal, address the matter with both parties.
9. Ensure that the employee's overall work record has been reviewed.
10. Finally, is there evidence of sexual harassment, racial harassment, or illegal retaliation for an employee's exercise of his legal rights. If so, talk with an experienced employment lawyer before you proceed with firing the employee.