For various reasons, employees are sometime asked to leave their jobs. That’s a hard reality of today’s workplace, but a reality it certainly is. When an employee is terminated, it’s important for the employer to be prepared for the possibility of a retaliatory lawsuit. Due to this, employers must have all their paperwork in place to deal with the threat of a lawsuit and to head off any problems.
When an employee is terminated, it’s important for the employer to be clear about the reasons involved, and to back up the case with solid evidence. Vague reasons for a termination can open the door to litigation.
Here are four common mistakes often made in a wrongful termination case.
1. Firing an Employee Without Discussion of the Cause.
The Texas Workforce Commission points out that failing to discuss the reasons for termination in advance (and giving the employee a chance to fix a problem) is a common mistake that can lead to litigation. Though it can be tempting to give a problem employee walking papers in the heat of the moment, failure to give a warning or an adequate reason for dismissal can lead to the risk of a lawsuit.
2. Firing a Well-Liked Employee Caught in A Corporate Cross-fire.
There are many reasons for firing an employee, but sometimes good employees get caught in corporate decision making situations that are beyond their control. This might also be seen as a case of an employee with good performance reviews being terminated for bad performance. All of this can reflect badly on the employer and bring on bad will and bad publicity. A recent case at the Los Angeles Times is a case in point.
3. Terrible Timing For A Dismissal.
A recent article in Forbes Magazine points out that a hasty, heat of the moment, poorly timed dismissal can lead to a bad situation for an employer. For instance, if an employee files a complaint against an employer (for harrassment, for example) and then is quickly fired for an unrelated cause, the employee would have a good case against the employer and would have no problem finding a lawyer to represent them.
4. Dismissal of an Employee Favored By Clients, With Glowing Reviews.
People can be fired for many reasons, but letting go of an employee who is a client favorite is problematic. The employee could show glowing reviews from the client, or contact them to back up a case of wrongful dismissal.
Firing an employee is never easy, but if it has to happen, employers would be wise to avoid some of the most common mistakes for wrongful dismissal, for the sake of everyone involved.