Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

You Want to Fire an Employee - Now What?

February 28, 2018
Ali Oromchian - Dental Consultant

As a practice owner, having to terminate an employee is simply a part of life. Maybe she has performance issues. Maybe she is habitually late without excuse. Maybe she is repeatedly getting into petty arguments with other employees. Whatever the explanation, here are some things to consider if you believe termination is warranted:

Documentation is your friend

When it comes to performance and behavior problems, you should always make notations of issues as often as possible and necessary. These documents should include dates of problems, descriptions of problems, witnesses, and any warnings which were given (along with the employee’s response). These documents can help to support your position if termination becomes inevitable.

Consult with an attorney or HR professional if there are extenuating circumstances 

Does the employee claim that her timeliness or performance issues are due to a medical problem? Has she recently made an HR complaint that would put a termination at risk of being seen as “retaliation” or any other type of punishment? Could her performance issues be due to her being the victim of discrimination by a supervisor? Before you terminate, you may wish to resolve these issues and make sure that any termination would be sound and legal before you pull the trigger.

Is resignation an option?

If you have an employee who is stealing or otherwise committing a grave offense, then resignation may not be appropriate. But what if you suspect that the employee’s poor performance is because she is secretly looking for other employment? Or maybe searching for another option? Resignation allows the employee can save face and can also go a long way towards stifling future labor claims and can even prevent the employee from seeking unemployment benefits. It is another option to consider under the right circumstances.

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