Your Business Deserves To Thrive

The Process For Terminating an Employee

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2019 | Business Management

Someone called the office today wanting to get rid of an employee.


At some point all of us are going to have to get rid of an employee or contractor.


What should that look like?


I give some tips in this video:


**NOTE: Any discussion of legal ideas in any of my public facing materials is not legal advice. You must consult counsel to get legal advice based on your facts and circumstances. Do not rely on the content of this message without consulting a lawyer. No attorney-client relationship is formed by this content (video, blog, etc.) Unless you have retained my firm and I have specifically acknowledged I am your lawyer you should not rely on any of my statements as legal advice.**

Machine Transcript:


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Hey everyone it’s The Our Shawn welcome to a special edition of the McBride attorneys law show



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here on YouTube. We are going to be talking about what do you do when you terminate an employee. Now I’m a lawyer, so quickly disclaimer, I cannot give you legal advice for your specific situation. So everything we’re talking about here is very general.



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Basic principles ideas, you want to take into account you want to consult with your lawyer to implement specific strategy that works on your, your state law. The nuances that are going on your situation, etc.



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I’m going to talk generally high level. Some things you should think about what terminated that boy general state of the law.



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In and I’m talking very broadly here because I’m not going to any specific state. I’m only licensed in 12 states in DC. So I’m not licensed everywhere.



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But we want to talk about some of the legal considerations you want to take into account when terminate an employee so



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The first thing is, you know, obviously if you’re watching this video, or if you’re thinking about this, you are thinking about terminated employees. Now, a lot of the stuff that makes this easier comes before the facts so



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Going forward after you get through the shield want to get your files important right, you want to write employment agreements, the right contracts the right terminology, the right employee handbooks you want to set everything up so that you make it very easy to terminate.



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When the situation arises. Right. We don’t want to be in the business of terminate employees, but it is going to happen from time to time in a business. So if we have contracts.



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Employment manuals. Everything set clear expectations clear rules and we go from there. So you’re in a situation now though, you need to get rid of somebody. What do you do



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First thing you do is pull the contract out right so if there is a contract or agreement, let’s go there.



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Very less common with employees have an actual contract. A lot of times what happens when employees brought on at will. Here in the United States, which means the employee can be terminated anytime



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Or the employee can leave anytime some situations, you’ll have an actual contract.



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Beyond that, it’s an independent contractor you’ll often have an independent contractor room that we’re really talking about employees here, but a lot of same principles will apply to independent contractors



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And there’s also a lot of people who’ve signed independent contractors who are also employees. So a lot of the employee laws and rules.



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Will still apply because just because you signed independent contractor doesn’t mean



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That they’re an employee. Okay, so get the contract out. Look at it, see what it says about termination, you know, makes what payments what notices are



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There what eventually determination, you’re going to have to comply with your contract if applicable.



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Yeah, if you’re like most employers, you’ll won’t have an actual contract true employee will potentially have some agreements they signed statements that they’ve agreed to policies and procedures so



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Those policies and procedures may have your grounds for termination in there which case you bolstered your case because the expectation was set



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Clearly in advance. The rules are there and as long as its rules are being applied fairly across all the employees, you’re managing some of your risk.



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If there’s employees are those rules are there and are not applied evenly across all your employees. Now we’re back into a risk situation. So we really want to assess this where we are. Where does it mean



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What does it do so take in terms of that get the contract out, get your policies out. Do we have a solid route, what we’re looking for here is to document.



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The fact that we can terminate the employee right that they can leave the organization that we didn’t do it really for a discriminatory reason that’s usually our big concern.



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For us is to make sure that we treat everybody fairly you can fire somebody for basically any reason that you can do it for a protective reason those protections are going to vary from federal state to local



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Things like religion, national origin.



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age, gender, these are protected characteristics. These are the reasons why you can’t terminate people for those reasons, you can terminate the things unrelated to those reasons you want to build a good file there.



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So we’re looking to make sure that we’re documenting that we’re not terminated people. For these reasons, because those can give grounds to employment claims.



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From there, we want to make sure that we handle the termination process. Well, depending on a sensitivity of the nature of what’s happening.



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What protect your company property that’s, you know, the actual physical assets, the employee has



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Plus any know how they might have customer list, etc. So in some cases, you’re going to want cut off access to those items before you actually terminate the employees.



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Regardless, you need to call with a plan. Okay.



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What am I going to indicate with them. How’s this physically going to happen and what are we going to do with all the data information etc that they have, you’re gonna have to assess the situation for the level of operative ness.



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How people are working together how things are going and based on that, that determines your path to action. So think through that build to that and then act accordingly. Now get that out there with the employee.



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Figure out how you’re going to physically terminate them, whether it’s going to be email, phone call in person meeting and how you’re going to secure your information.



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At these meetings, generally speaking, less is more. So it’s going to be a communication from the employer side of, you know, we are terminating you



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Perhaps because you violated this clause, you did that.



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Didn’t do this or they just had decrease in demand for our services, whatever it is you’re in a



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Very simple, maybe one or two sentences and why you’re terminated employees and you don’t want a back and forth discussion.



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You may want somebody to go there as supervisors that discussion to show that it was what you said it was set of script beforehand.



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Do the termination process and don’t look back on that point, I have the employee leave the facility or disconnect them from the network and move forward.



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So I hope these are some helpful tips on processing the termination process. Right. You want to make it very clean, very succinct.



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Very straightforward don’t need to get into a lot of back and forth in discussion with the employee.



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You want to make sure you had your documentation in place on why did it, but that your file, just in case there’s a lawsuit later. Those things will help protect you. You want those contemporaneous records that you’re keeping as part of your business.



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So that in the event of litigation, you’re able to refer to them and show that they are the business records.



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Which means, make sure you have a policy and procedure for how you keep the termination records and follow those all the time.



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So that you will have business records which will help you. The event litigation business records is a very special meaning.



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In litigation. You want to make sure you’re keeping business records of what’s happening, which needs follow policy procedure be consistent about it.



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Okay, I hope that’s helpful. If you have questions, drop your comments below on the McBride attorneys law show on YouTube, you’ll find that you’ll find this video there on that channel.



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Comment. Let us know what you’re thinking, what challenges you have don’t put any attorney client information there but talk very generally maybe some experiences you’ve had things that you’re



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Questioning will try to do more videos to help you. And of course in that connection. Make sure you are subscribed to the McBride attorneys law show over at YouTube.



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And ring the bell to get notifications so that you’ll see when we post additional updates get specific questions or issues, feel free to reach out to me.



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I’m not soliciting your work as an attorney, but I would love to know generally what’s going on in the marketplace what issues are out there for employers.



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So that we can tailor content to you. And of course, you have a specific legal issue, as we discussed in the beginning. Don’t rely on this for advice. Consult the attorney of your choosing.



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And work with them on work to an issue. So, folks, thanks for joining me on The Our Shawn looking forward to seeing you in addition to future editions other McBride attorneys law show I will talk with you again very soon.