As careful as you may be to select the best employees available and to manage them well, at some point it's likely that you'll have to fire somebody. For most business owners and managers, this is definitely not a job to look forward to. Making it worse are the facts that there is a growing body of law that limits your right to fire workers, and that more and more workers seem to be filing (and winning) lawsuits against their former employers.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to limit your risks in this area. In the following sections, we'll explain:
- What are the major laws and legal restrictions that limit your right to fire?
- When can not firing a worker cause legal problems?
- What business practices can help limit your risk of a wrongful termination lawsuit?
- What should you say and do at the meeting when you fire a worker?
- What benefits must you extend to fired workers? What benefits are optional?
- How should you handle voluntary resignations?
- Why, and how, should you defend yourself against unemployment insurance claims by former employees?
- What are the pros and cons of providing job references?