Need to fire a worker? Follow proper procedure
New Jersey employers have a lot of legal matters to address throughout the course of their duties. In addition to adhering to the law in the ways they operate their businesses, they must also prepare for and hopefully avoid situations that could pose legal issues for the company. In particular, when having to fire a worker, employers may want to ensure that they do so in a way that limits the chances of the employee claiming wrongdoing on the part of the employer.
Even if an employer knows that there is valid reason to terminate a worker from a position, there is still the possibility that the worker could claim that the termination was illegal. In some cases, a worker could claim that he or she was terminated based on discriminatory reasons, like race or gender. As a result, employers may want to take precautions and ensure that termination proceedings go as smoothly as possible.
An in-person approach is typically the best way to handle a worker dismissal, and when having the meeting, employers may want to include the following elements:
- Termination-related paperwork that includes pertinent details to the situation, such as termination date, severance package information, job search assistance options and any remaining compensation information
- A witness who understands the termination proceedings, such as a human resources representative
- Information for the employee about the dismissal procedure, such as whether the worker will return to duties, depart immediately or take part in other transition activities
- Tissues on hand in case the worker responds emotionally or even a car service ride if the employee is too distressed to drive him or herself home
- Paperwork for the employee to sign indicating that he or she understands the situation
After having to fire a worker, it is not unusual for accusations of the situation being unfair or even illegal to arise. In such cases, disgruntled former employees could attempt to take legal action against a previous employer. By conducting the termination meeting in accordance with company procedures and providing clear information about the dismissal, New Jersey employers may have the evidence they need to defend against any claims former employees may attempt to bring against the company.