Don't let an insubordinate employee worry you. Here's
what to do.
Why is it the worst employees, the ones that you simply
must fire, are always the ones most likely to sue you? Many
small business owners and Human Resources Managers find themselves
asking this question. They must know how to terminate an
employee while limiting their liability if the case goes
to court. With the sue-happy nation we live in, it is easy
for a terminated employee to bring a case against you and
claim that you had no real ground for termination. In fact,
the employee may claim that you discriminated against him
or her. This can get you in both financial and legal troubles.
Therefore, you must know how to terminate an employee properly
to keep yourself out of hot water.
How to Terminate an Employee Step 1: Document
The first step you need to take when terminating an employee
is to document everything. You may think that writing down
every little detail is time-consuming and tedious – and
it is. Nonetheless, it is necessary. Pay attention to details
when documenting problems. This can be a life saver if legal
troubles follow the termination. Make sure you write down
everything that took place, including the situation, the
time it took place, and the actions you took to correct the
How to Terminate an Employee Step 2: Discuss it with the
In step two, you must discuss the issue with the employee.
During your discussion, you must tell the employee what he
or she did wrong, tell him or her the actions you will take,
and warn him or her of the consequences if the action reoccurs.
Document this discussion and have the employee sign paperwork
proving you addressed the matter and that he or she is aware
of the outcomes.
Sometimes, an employee will refuse to sign this documentation.
If this is the case, have another supervisor sign as a witness
to your discussion. If there are no other supervisors, document
the date and time and note the employee refused to sign.
How to Terminate an Employee Step 3: The Exit Interview
If you have completed the first two steps in the termination
process and the employee still is not working up to your
expectations, it is time to begin termination proceedings.
To do this, you will need to coin an employee termination
letter that details the reason for dismissal and the effective
date of termination. It should also include whether the employee
is eligible for rehire and any benefits that he or she may
or may not still receive after termination. Finally, sit
down with the employee and discuss the termination letter.
Keep the exit interview brief and avoid saying too much,
as anything you say can be used against you later if the
employee decides to file a lawsuit.
underperforming and insubordinate employees.