Firing employees is a normal occurrence in all types of businesses and companies. However, if completed illegally, firing an employee can land a business owner in hot soup. While the “employment at will” principal allows employers to terminate their workers at their own discretion, there are various exceptions that can lead to drastic consequences if ignored.
Legal charges or lawsuits are among the consequences that can arise from illegal termination. As an employer or business manager, you must understand the law first before making a termination. This is because even a single action that violates the rights of an employee can easily lead to an expensive lawsuit against you and your business.
Some years back, it was relatively easy for an employer to fire an employee for whichever reason. This is no longer the case; employees are very informed on their legal rights and because of this, an employee is very likely to seek legal advice before accepting a termination letter. As a result of this, many employers are getting sued everyday for discrimination and wrongful discharge.
Additionally, an illegal termination creates tension amongst the rest of the workforce. It causes the rest of the employees to feel threatened and insecure, and this can affect their productivity. In some cases, some employees get affected psychological by the wrongful dismissal of a colleague and opt to leave voluntarily before they suffer the same fate.
Finding an appropriate replacement for fired employees, and for employees who may have chosen to leave voluntarily in the case of an unfair termination, can be an expensive process, especially when a business has a reputation of terminating employees illegally.
Wrongfully terminated employees may also find ways to harm a company as a way of exacting revenge. They may decide to destroy the reputation of the company via social media, or to disclose confidential information to competitors.
It is therefore important for employers and managers to follow the legal procedure when firing an employee to avoid getting into trouble with the law. Read on to learn all about wrongful terminations, and a step by step guide on how to fire an employee legally.