6 Important Steps to Firing an Employee Legally

As an employer, you are in charge of how a business is ultimately ran. From taking stock of inventory, to hiring practices, it is a role that comes with a lot of responsibility. In regards to the latter, you decide who you would like to bring on board. Eventually, you will be overseeing the most qualified candidates for the company.

While running a smooth ship is indeed possible, sometimes, that may not always turn out to be the case. You may be put in a situation where you will have to fire one of your workers, for a variety of reasons. Letting a worker go can seem simple in its premise, but there are important tips to remember as well.

Follow these six steps on firing an employee legally:

Step #1: Preparing Your Material

Firing an employee can occur due to a plethora of reasons. As long as you stay in accordance with local laws, the process of firing an employee can go pretty smoothly. However, you’ll want to make sure that the material you have justifies the actual firing. For example, take into account why they are being fired and make it known in some form of documentation.

Documentation is also important in the context of providing the employee with the right severance. Generally speaking, fired employees will be owed a certain amount of compensation after being let go. Make sure that all of this information is accurate, so that issues do not arise! An employment lawyer Toronto can ensure that all your documentation complies with the law.

Step #2: Informing the Employee

Informing the employee is the second step to firing an employee legally. Before the firing actual takes place, it is in your best interest to make the worker know where they stand. As mentioned previously, taking notes on areas that could lead to a firing is key. The employee may be committing various violations while in their tenure. For example, showing up late to work on a consistent basis may be a legal cause for firing.

Should this occur, you’ll want to talk to your employee about it. Having a few, firm conversations with them could lead to them changing their behaviour. Firing them without these prior conversations may result in a soured, unnecessary working relationship!

Step #3: Provide Leeway

Once these conversations are had, you should provide your employee with some flexibility. This allows them to develop habits that could change their professional behaviour for the better. Timelines should be drawn up, which could grant the worker some time to gauge their overall improvement.

Employers should always try to employ a sense of compassion with their workers, especially if they are professional. Everyone has their own matters to deal with, which could impede on work performance!

Step #4: Complying with Laws

If the firing of an employee is inevitable, you’ll want to make sure they are not let go for unjust reasons. Wrongful terminations are a likely occurrence, and you may be sued for it if the dismissal is not legal.

For starters, make sure that you are not firing your employee in a discriminatory manner. Or, an employee retaliating against you for an illegal workplace practice is not cause for firing. Stay informed to legally keep yourself protected!

Step #5: Face-to-Face Firing

Just because a working arrangement has gone south, does not mean that you should forego dignity. Make sure that your employee is let go in a direct manner, as this can salvage the overall relationship.

Step #6: Reviewing Severance

You should always try to maintain a professional relationship with the employee. One great way to do this is by allowing them to review their severance package. Transparency, even at the end of their tenure, will always work in your favour!

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