Effective Procedures to Avoid Wrongful Termination Suits

The manner in which employees are handled during the termination process plays a significant factor as to whether or not an employee files a lawsuit against the employer. While you can’t do anything about your employee’s emotions after the course of the termination, you can still prevent the likelihood of facing wrongful termination suits if you consider some tips to get rid of lengthy and costly litigation.

Wrongful Termination Suits

Below are some effective procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits:

1. Establish Proper Employment Procedures: If you need a significant number of people to help you run the business, it’s vital that you initiate proper employment procedures.
  • When dealing with employment, you should make sure that everything about your employment processes is in place. In other words, make sure that you’ve already prepared your employment contracts before hiring employees. Take note of the important information that should be included in the contract such as the employee’s position, salary, date employed, employment status and terms and conditions of termination.
  • If you’re uncertain about the legalities of the contract, have these documents reviewed by the company attorney. That way, your lawyer can see to it that your agreements are drafted under the law.
  • Also, don’t forget to check your company handbook and manuals. If you don’t have existing ones, create your company policies and be clear always when it comes to the rules and regulations to be followed for termination.
  • Refrain from distributing these materials without scrutinizing them properly. Make sure that you update all information in your company handbook and manuals.
  • Aside from policies and regulations, ensure that all agreements you've entered with your employees are put into writing. Keep detailed records of everything concerning your employee’s status of employment and even performance evaluations.
2. Provide Training For Employees and Supervisors: Providing training for your employees and supervisors can go a long way in maintaining a harmonious work environment for all.
  • When it comes to your supervisors, giving them the appropriate training about employment practices and workplace policies can go a long way to avoid the possibility of facing wrongful termination lawsuits.
  • Take note that one way of preventing termination suits from happening is to provide your employees with proper orientation and training. If your company policies and other employment terms and conditions are communicated to your employees, you’re doing the right thing. That way, your employee, when terminated for a just cause, can no longer argue that he or she has been wrongfully terminated without due process.
3. Institute Procedures For Legally Terminating An Employee: Going through a termination process can be dreadful to both the employee and the employer. No matter how careful you’ll be in dismissing an employee, facing an actual wrongful termination lawsuit is still possible. That’s why instituting procedures for legally terminating an employee can also be a perfect idea. 
  • Follow the Law: In terminating an employee, following the law is fundamental. Make time to understand and familiarize yourself with your state’s employment laws. Be sure that you also obey your government’s employment guidelines so that you’ll know exactly what to do in legally dismissing your employee.
  • Conduct Performance Evaluations Regularly: Remember that employers provide regular evaluations to check an employee’s work performance and to recommend areas of improvement. However, if you think of terminating an employee due to their inferior performance despite your earnest efforts, taking advantage of the results of performance appraisals can help you avoid termination suits.
  • Make Use of Termination Protocols: Keep in mind that employment termination should be done with the observance of due process of law. In other words, specific steps should be followed before directly terminating an employee. If you don’t want to encounter expensive and lengthy termination lawsuits in the future, be mindful of the following termination protocols:
➔Be sure to notify your employees in writing about their regular performance appraisals. Do not just give verbal information about employment-related matters.

➔Ensure that performance appraisals or reviews are acknowledged and signed by your employees. Keep these records intact for future use.

➔Provide warnings in writing before terminating an employee. Document everything, including your conversations. 

➔Gather sufficient documentation to support your termination decision. However, make sure that collecting information should be done legally.

➔Seek appropriate legal advice from a licensed attorney regarding employee termination. Try to inquire if you’ve followed or missed out on some important legal considerations in dismissing an employee.

➔Offer assistance to the terminated employee. Bear in mind that you can minimize the risk of being sued for wrongful termination suit if you extend support to the employee you’re terminating. 

Compliance with the employment laws in your state can provide you with the assurance that you’ll not come across with wrongful termination suits anytime soon. As long as you adhere to the above effective procedures to prevent termination cases, you can take comfort in the fact that you’ll hopefully be running a litigation-free business from now on.

Disclaimer: This article is only intended to provide general information about the effective procedures to avoid wrongful termination suits. It is not, however, considered as actual legal advice regarding the subject matter. If you’re facing a termination suit, it’s recommended that you contact an experienced lawyer to help you with your situation.

About the writer: Cindy Dowling, part time writer who offers a fresh take on various law topics with the pieces she writes for local firms. Cindy enjoys a good cup of coffee and a good book whenever she has the time. 

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