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How to Fire an Employee Legally and Fairly
May 10, 2022
Female manager having serious discussion with employee at desk
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In an ideal world, every employee would be a perfect, productive fit – and you’d never have to let someone go for missing the mark or violating the rules. But we all know that’s not realistic. No matter how careful you are when hiring and growing your workforce, you’re bound to encounter difficult situations that ultimately lead to termination.

Today, it’s more important than ever to be on firm legal footing when firing employees or taking other disciplinary action. A sloppy or unfair termination could put you at significant risk if a disgruntled employee turns around and files a lawsuit.

Whether jotting notes during a counseling session, preparing a written warning, or composing a final termination notice, understand that thorough documentation works in your favor if it’s done right (or works against you, if not).

This e-guide will walk you through the technicalities of legally sound terminations – including proper documentation – so you can fire with confidence and clarity, from start to finish.

Topics covered include:

  • Difference Between Contractual and “At-Will” Employment
  • Federal Laws Restricting Illegal Terminations
  • Legitimate Reasons for Termination
  • Disciplinary Measures and Documentation Before the Termination
  • What to Consider Before You Fire
  • How to Handle the Termination Meeting
  • Post-Termination Considerations
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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