Conflict often arises within a work environment. Racial tension, gender identification and age are just some of the matters that could potentially factor into a discrimination lawsuit. These matters could be especially problematic when you let a worker go.
There could be many legitimate reasons to terminate a worker’s employment. Yet, a former employee’s anger or resentment after being separated from your company may prompt him or her to explore their legal options.
Regardless of whether an allegation is well-founded, dispute resolution can take time and money away from your business. However, there are some things you can to do mitigate risk.
Five ways to protect yourself from a wrongful termination claim
As an employer, you must provide fair and equal treatment for everyone who reports to you. To cover your bases when you release someone from your employ, you would be wise to include the following in your best practices:
- Invest in a liability insurance policy that includes coverage to defend the company against legal action.
- Establish and communicate clear expectations, from which you provide consistent feedback about employee performance.
- Document employees’ questionable behavior and policy violations in addition to the coaching you provide.
- Be kind when you inform a worker that their employment has come to an end.
- Offer to provide a letter of reference and networking assistance to help ease the transition into another position.
Although cutting ties with an employee can be a difficult part of your job, budget cuts, policy violations and underperformance may justify your choice. When you let someone go, however, you would be wise to follow state and federal employment laws to defend yourself against possible allegations.