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Firing: Lay the Groundwork

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A recent study revealed that employees win wrongful termination lawsuits between 47 percent and 57 percent of the time. The average award for those verdicts ranges from approximately $452,000 to $646,000.

Disciplining or terminating an employee is a difficult enough task without having to worry about costly legal repercussions, yet the list of dangers that employers face in firing employees is seemingly endless.

How can you safely fire a poor performer who’s pregnant, who’s on medical leave, or who just filed a workers’ compensation claim? What about the employee with the perpetually bad attitude who also happens to be trying to organize your workforce or complaining about discrimination?

The quick answer is that no amount of education, training, or preparation can completely protect you and your company in those and other difficult situations. But one thing you can do -- and perhaps the most important thing -- is to lay the proper groundwork for firing employees.

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